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Cwwdton liwtHuM for Hittarical MIcroraproductiom / Inttitut emadtan da mterorapfeductiaiu MMoriqiiw 




1995 



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ri^PPUEDJVMGEJnc 

1653 Eost Mom StrMt 

Roch«tar. Nm York 14609 USA 

(716) «M - OJOO - Pho™ 

(716) 2aa - »a9 - rm 



THIRTEEN MEN 



THIRTEEN MEN 



BY 
W. A. l^RASER 




D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 
NEW YORK ,906 






156146 



COPVKlCHTt 1906, By 

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 



PuhlUhed Beptemher, aoe 



CONTENTS 



The Turbulent. . . '*'" 
I 

The Ofpcasting of the Nichemods ,, 

The Home-Comino of the Nakannies .... 36 

The "Mbled" Collie. . « 

50 

The Infatuation of Ackerly g^ 

The Stealing of the Buddha Pearl ,02 

The Net of Leo . 

"7 

Mahhet ... 

160 

FlNNERTT OF the ElePHANT KeDDAH ,go 

The Apostasy of Moung Pyu j„5 

Nawaz Khan, the Gift of Allah 224. 

The Blooding of a Griffin j.g 

The Capture of Sheitan jg. 



THE TURBULENTS 

THIS story has to do with the period 
of time in which Swampy, the rac- 
coon, associated with some lumber- 
men in Cameron's shanty in the thick Canadian 
woods. 

The toilers slew the oak and chestnut giants 
of the forest, in the matter of daily bread; 
danced at some farmhouse out in the Scotch 
Block; toyed with immature corn whisky at Rod- 
ney; or coon-hunted in their own forest at night, 
in the way of relaxation. And, in addition to all 
this, there was the sver-present feud with the 
" river boys." 

The McRaes, the Campbells, the Grahams, 
interminable of relationship, living along the 
Thames River, held the men of the Scotch Block 
—the McPhails, the Mclntyres, and Camerons 
— as enemies to be thrashed at times, and reviled 
always. These martial sentiments were recipro- 
cally entertained by the Cameron adherents. A 
pretty face at a dance, with a little misunder- 
standing over an engagement for a Scotch reel, 
I 



THIRTEEN MEN 

and a McRae and a McPhail would be at each 
other's throats out in the chip yard before you 
could say " Great Wallace ! " 

But a sore irritant was the matter of coon 
dogs. Jack McRac's boast was that his dog 
Watch could tree a coon quicker'n anything that 
wore hai , would stay with him till the cows came 
home, and could lick his own weight in swamp 
coons or wild-cats. He had enlarged on this 
boast by addingj that he had the best coon dog 
in the county of Elgin, and that Cameron's 
Queenie didn't know a coon scent from the odor 
of a wild onion. 

It was a primeval condition of life, its atmos- 
phere surcharged with toil and strife and re- 
ligion and coon-huntiag. 

Swampy's advent, though dramatic enough, 
was uneventful compared widi his exit. 

His mother, a true swamp coon, long of limb, 
black-haired on the back, and stout of heart, 
hibematmg through the long winter in the hol- 
low hmb of a black-ash tree, came by the way of 
a family in the month of April. Half a month 
later, the Cameron men felled her lofty home 
for lumber; mother coon, darting from her front 
door, was set upon by Queenie and was slain. 

The fall of the ash had killed all the young- 
sters but one, and the foreman, Mclntyre, put 
2 



THE TURBULENTS 

the orphaned little creature in the bosom of his 
flannel shirt, and carried it to the log shanty. 
That was in the evening, and the whole camp 
entered seriously into the consideration of how 
the httle chap's life was to be saved. 

A plump, gray, fluffy ball, with an extremely 
attenuated nose, the coon babe slept in a little 
box filled with cotton batting behind the cook 
stove, totally oblivious of the grave question he 
had raised by his unwilling advent. 

It was Ben Locke who hit upon the brilliant 
Idea that proved so satisfactory at first and so 
productive of disorder later on. " Try him with 
Queenie," Locke suggested; " she might take to 
him in place of one of her pups. I believe she's 
lonesome with only Bruce." 

Queenie was a half-bred collie, and, as 
such, great in motherly instinct, and jealous to 
a degree. Her brown eyes searched Locke's 
face understandingly as, with forefinger ex- 
tended wamingly, he commanded her: " Down, 
Queenie! Now, now— that's a good dog— 
that's a good dog I " This while Mclntyre held 
the little orphan to the mother-fount of nour- 
ishment. 

There is no doubt diat Swampy's methods dif- 
fered from the collie pup's, for Queenie curled 
her hps in a snarl that showed her white teeth, 
3 



THIRTEEN MEN 

and growled her disapproval. But Swampy 
made good use of his time; and presently, his 
little stomach round and taut like a toy drum, he 
was put back in his box and presented in this 
shape to Queenie for inspection. 

No one ever knew how it happened, but in the 
morning Swampy was found sleeping with the 
collie pup at the mother's side. After that he 
was made free pf the collie's bed, and made 
foster brother to Bruce, the pup. 

He washed his food in a little wooden trough 
before he ate it, and poked his thin, inquisitive 
nose into cupboards, boxes, and every nook of 
the log shanty. From a long line of swamp- 
dwelling, night-prowling ancestry had come to 
him an inherited sensitiveness of touch. His 
slim, biack-skinned fore paws were like another 
pair of eyes; he appeared to be always feel- 
ing for treasure. Sometimes, half-angered by 
Bruce's foolishness of puppyhood, his sharp 
claws cut little lines of remonstrance in the youth- 
ful collie's face. The thin parchment ears of 
Swampy were slit into ribbons by the fishlike 
teeth of his dog foster brother. "ITius the three 
played together, and ate together, with as much 
amity, relieved by occasinial family jars, as 
though they were all dogs or all raccoons. 
When Swampy was a little over a year old, 
4 



THE TURBULENTS 

one night the tremulous whistle of his own kind 
sang in his slit ears from a tree in the forest 
and something that he had forgotten all about 
came to him with compelling force. He had 
lain there the child of a collie modier, and in a 
minute a dozen whimpering notes of call reincar- 
nated him and he was a coon. Inherited visions 
of a black-ash swamp in which he might puddle 
all through the hours of darkness for frogs and 
snails and things delicious to a coon's palate 
flashed through his mind. 

He stole softly from the little box diat was 
his home, raised his gray, black-barred muzzle, 
sniffed inquiringly toward the forest, and then 
slipped like a noiseless shadow across the clear- 
ing and was swallowed up in the gloomed bush. 
Men came and went from the Cameron lum- 
bering gang, and their passing was of transient 
regret; but Swampy's defection laid melancholy 
upon the whole camp. The men said he would 
come back again, but he did not. 

One moon from the passing of Swampy— it 
was a September night— Locke and Mclntyre, 
«king the dogs and their axes, made their way 
along three miles of bush road to a little clearing 
in the woods. This field was planted in com, 
and, as Locke said, every coon in the bush 
knew it. 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Eager in the hunt, having knowledge of its 
method, the dogs slipped silently through a 
fence; their masters perched on its topmost rail 
and listened to the whispering com leaves as the 
dogs, panting in blood lust, chased through the 
rustling stalks, up and down the dwarf avenues 
of the miniature forest. A misty moon peeped 
over a somber tree wall into the little clearing, 
turning to jewels the dewdrops held in the silver 
feathers that were the tassels of the corn. 

Nose to ground, Queenie raced; at her heels 
the pup. When Bruce sought to forge ahead, 
the mother lunged at him with her teeth, adding 
a yelp of admonition. She knew that even then, 
perhaps, the one they sought was safe settled in 
a tree; but if shi clung dose to the trail they 
would come to his hiding place, and then her 
partners in crime, the humans, would bring him 
to earth for a grapple. 

At first above the whispering of the shadowy 
corn came little whines of anxiety, as though 
Queenie asked: "Where is he— where is he? " 
Then there was a short yelp of delight. 

" Found 1 There's one there!" Locke mut- 
tered, touching his companion's arm. 

Presently, as the scent freshened, shorter and 
sharper came the " Yeh-yehl" and then, from 
a half-burned fallow beyond, with its blackened 
6 



THE TURBULENTS 

stumps and charred logs, Queenle's voice came 
back, tingling the night air with a joyous " Yi-ih- 
ih, yehl " 

The men slipped from the fence, dashed 
through the cornfield, sprawled through the 
labyrinth of burned logs, into the woods on the 
farther side, over a sandy knoll clothed with 
beech and maple, and down into a black-ash 
swamp, where the ringing baric of dogs told they 
had treed a coon. 

Halloo I " ejaculated Locke, as they came to 
the scene of turmoil, " darned if there ain't an- 
other dog I Wherein thunder— ? Hanged if it 
ain'tMcRae'sI" 

" We're here first, whatever," Mclntyre an- 
swered. " We'll make a fire, so we can see to 
chop." 

The swamp was dry from the summer 
drought, and while the men gadiered sticks 
and built a fire, Queenie sat on her haunches, her 
nose pointed at the stars, and her red-brown 
eyes fixed wistfully on something very like a fur 
muff high up in the ash. Bruce and the McRae 
dog were tearing about the tree, jumping against 
Its smoodi-barked trunk, and causing the forest 
to echo with their clamor. 

" We can throw her into that openin'," Locke 
said, as he squinted up the tree; "let's hurry. 
7 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Them McRae boyi'U be ineakin' in, an' daimin' 
their cur treed the coon." 

Ai the axes rang sharp and clear against the 
ash three men slipped into the firelight and a 
voice said: " Hey there, you fellers, what're you 
uoin' ? " 

Locke grounded his ax and, leaning on the 
handle, retorted sarcastically: "Shavin' myself. 
WhatV! you think I was doin'? " 

" Looks like you was choppin' down 'nother 
man's coon." 

" Not on your broadax, Jack McRae. Our 
dogs druv the coon out of Gillis's com, an' treed 
him; an' as we sort o' happened along 'bout that 
time, we kinder surmised 'twouldn't be a bad 
idee to chop him down." 

'' Us boys's got that job in hand, Ben Locke." 
" We're first, which is nine points of the law." 
" Vm thinkin' you've got two points, an' we've 
three," McRae rejoined menacingly. 

" Look here. Jack McRae," broke in Mcln- 
tyre, " that's too strong. We're not out for 
trouble, but we'll chop this coon down, what- 
ever." 

"If you're a better man nor me, you're 
meanin', Dan Mclntyre, by God I" and the 
speaker slipped o£F his coat and rolled up his 
sleeves. 

8 



THE TURBULENTS 



1 II take that from no man." 

Lock. intenxMed. " What', the u.e of you 
nver boy, ookin' for trouble. You know [u.t 

hancfa full with Dan. Let the fightin' go till 'he 
S „ w" W""-«°--- there'll be plenty of U 
then We come out for coons, an' w did you." 

which makes a grand difference." 

^am^K n '"'" ^'^" •'"y* °"' »"d Archie 
Campbell can see fair play." 

" Well, spit it out of you, Locke." 

" We was here first, an' oughter have first 

d";. b^r"' P?'" '"" ^» ^- y- "^"p you 

yoJm " ' " '' """^ "^""'^ «'* *« •^^o". he'. 
"You're meanin', Locke, you'll give us a 

It s a pretty th.ck bush here in the swamp, an' 

most hke the ash'll lodge, then the coon'lf'skip 

nto that elm-perhaps he'll do it soon's the ash 

starts o go; from the run he give our dogs he's 

cumim enough for anythin'. Anyway, 'tain't 

9 



THIRTEEN MEN 

no UM good men fightin' over a pelt that ain't 
worth more'n a dollar. We're two to three, but 
we ain't goin' to take no back water." 

The McRaea and Campbell stepped to one 
•ide and debated the question; the well-known 
fightmg abihty of "Strong Dan" Mclntyre 
havmg something of a mollifying influence upon 
their spirits. 

M'd : We 11 agree to that, only we'll draw lots 
ror first try at die coon." 
"All right, t)oys," Locke acquiesced; "we'd 

n /..'^^r"*'"' *»" "k*"' ^°«'dn't we, 
UM t There was a deprecating pleasantry in 
his voice which amounted to a sneer. * 

Then he broke two twigs, placed dicm be 
^een his fingers, and held his hand up to Mc 
Rae, saymg, " Draw, Jack; long stick wins." 

The other drew; and Locke, throwing the re- 
maining twig in the fire with an angry jerk, 
growled: " You win; go ahead." 

While the Cameron men sat holding their 
dogs, the others sank eager axes into the soft 
flesh of the black ash. 

Soon a shivering moan went up icom the tree • 

Its top trembled and swayed; as Jack McRae 

drove die blade of his ax to its eye there was a 

crackling scream of dissolution; the ash reeled 

10 



THE TURBULENTS 



i^^''' H u" " .•'""^' ""'' ^hen iwept down- 
ward Halfway in iti fall to earth a ttL^Trl 
cjught In the ein. and the tree hun^lZJ^^a 
With a powerful stroke the axman knocked the 
butt from .ts holding ,tun,p, the tree rolled and 
with a .wishing ,igh, fell to it. .ide. 

i he McRae dog dashed into the manv lioiS*^ 

bl die y along a limb while the tree .waved i J 
m.d.ajr. had jumped into a .lender Tamamk 
and clambered nimbly to it, top. 

back toThe r r"1 '" *' -'^'««' «""« 
Then ? 1, ' *'"■ '"" »""«=" With anger. 
Then Locke stepped over to the tamarack fnd 
ran h.s eye up it. length, which wa. like the 
tapering spar of a yacht. 

" an'?h!,r"'' "" '^"' "■«''' '='"'"8'''" be said, 
an there am't no use fallin' this saphn'- ifd 
never come down-it'd lodge sure " ' 

.. i!;"'" ^°^" and pulled off his boots, saying- 

thldotK""^''''''''"'^"-"- ^--S'' 
Locke had been a sailor on the Great Lak.. 

rack Jike a boy. As he approached, the much- 

had" huo^Z^T' '™'" ^"^ -'-^h - whiTh te 
had huQdIed and crept cautiously along a slender 
bmb. where he hung by his long, sha,p^laws 
* II 



THIRTEEN MEN 

" Look out below 1 " Locke cried, standing in 
the crotch; then he struck the limb a sharp blow 
with the sole of his foot. The coon, dislodged, 
drew in a great lungful of air, till he was blown 
out like a football, and fell lightly to earth. 

With a rush Queenie and Bruce were upon 
him ; and then, even as they stuck their noses into 
his fat stomach as he lay on his back ready to 
battle, the two dogs sheathed their teeth and, 
drawing back a little, sniffed in a puzzled man- 
ner at the quarry. And through the sensitive 
nostrils of the collie mother vibrated the faint 
scent that reawakened a memory almost obliter- 
ated ; it was the scent that once had stood for one 
of her own children. She gave a whine of de- 
light; pleading, eager it was, and wirfi her paw 
she scratched coaxingly at the coon's neck. 

The foster mother had come by the truth; it 
was Swampy, the escaped one. 

But with him, a half-generation reclaimed 
from the forest life, memory was shorter; he 
had lapsed rapidly to the primal savagery of his 
race. His white teeth gleamed for an instant in 
the firelight and then were buried in the paw that 
was the transmitter of mother affection. 

With a yelp of pain, even of indignant remon- 
strance, the collie sprang back, and Swampy, 
rolling leisurely to his feet, scuttled back to the 

12 



THE TURBULENTS 



Mclntyre- to him hZ P'"fo""'ne, all but 

coon is t7hctZ71 T ^'""^'^ *^' *^ 
wo.dWto™t:X^t^,X--''^^- 

tool 111'; 3 --'jf^ ^^; tree, Ca.pbel, 
and the latter Z 'f"°^'^' McRae dog, 

'"•s throat po^ntdl'onT'' "'' ' ""' '^ 

Then SwLp?Er tr'n^"°"- 
^is foster brothJr Bre^anrtt^r'^ "' 
strance into the rash M.d j °^ '■^"'°"- 



THIRTEEN MEN 



Dan," and sought to batter him in the way of 
reproval. 

The din of battle came to Locke's ears, and 
his breeches screeched and fairly smoked with 
the friction of his descent as he shot down the 
scale-barked tamarack. It was a time for rapid 
descent : he was needed. Strong Dan was surely 
being dragged to earth when his companion, 
crouching, after the manner of sailors in a fight, 
made entry to tjie festive scene. 

"You would— blank you!— Huh!" That 
was a grunt at the butt end of a blow, as Locke's 
fist swung inward on Campbell's chin and 
dropped him to his knees. Before Locke could 
recoil to guard, Jim McRae's long arm flopped 
around like the loose end of a flail, and the 
Scotchman's fist, as hard as a horse's hoof from 
rough toil, smashed like a brick into the sailor's 
face. 

It was a joyous mill, flagging not for the new- 
fangled innovation of rounds. It was one long 
continuous swirling round, full of action, good 
old-time rough-and-tumble rules governing the 
contest. 

Locke was a master in the sailor's fighting art, 

which is a method of fair execution; and Mc- 

Intyre's strength, known throughout the county, 

was as hurtful as a bear's. On the other side 

14 



THE TURBULENTS 



here were three of the river boys: the McRaes, 
ong of hmb, clean of wind, like cats on 
their feet-proper woodsmen; while Campbell, 
though short of stature, had been nicknamed 
F.ghtmg Archie." Hate and clan rivalry set 
a fast pace, and the combatants' diligent method 
would soon bnng a verdict for one side or the 
other. 

Meanwhile the cause of the little unpleasant- 
ness had scuttl-d up the tamarack once more, 
where he sat blinking curiously at the extraordi' 
naq. animals who shattered the peace of the for- 
est below. Because of the preoccupation of their 
masters the dogs carried on their engagement, 
until Watch, outnumbered and sorely bitten 
curled his tail between his legs and took to th,' 
darkened bush with howls of disgust 

The uneven ground, the big roots of the elm, 
and the slippery moss-covered sticks, introduced 
a rare element of chance into the contest. Some- 
times Strong Dan " wa. on his back with two 
men atop, until Locke, throttling one of them, 
would sip and all hands go rolling over one J. 
other like pups at play. It was like a football 
scrimmage; m the faulty, glimmering firelight a 
hard-knuckled fist, missing its mark, would land 
on the nose of a friend. 
The Marquis of Queensbury and his rules had 
15 



THIRTEEN MEN 

never puzzled the minds of these busy Scotch- 
men. It was go-as-you-please, kick and slug 
and clinch in that ring, which was the whole 
black-ash swamp. Rough-and-tumble bars noth- 
ing bui the gouge and the bite; and, so far, 
the combatants adhered closely to these honor- 
able rules. If: was a scrap of fervor, fast and 
furious; at times a little breathing spell coming 
in a clinch. They were almost too busy for 
speech. Once Mclntyre grunted : " Take that, 
McRae, blank you ! " as his Scotch knuckles, 
high in bone, ripped like a saw at his opponent's 
eyebrow. And Jack retaliated with a kick that 
would have opened an oak door. 

Locke, less economical of speech than the 
Scots, encouraged his fighting comrade from time 
to time. " Give it — to him — Dan ! I'm at your 
—back." And he was. But, unfortunately for 
his powers of succor, he was surrounded himself. 
Three men can deploy in battle more promiscu- 
ously than two ; so there wa. always a spare fist 
ready to prod either Dan or Ben just as he was 
getting the better of his opponent. 

Locke's face was redder than the rose, and 
the crimson hiie had smeared his shirt front; he 
peered with difficulty from beneath a beehive, or 
something, that hung heavily over his left eye. 
Three times Campbell had been knocked as 
i6 



THE TURBULENTS 
many feet j but he was a wasp, a terrier that came 
snarling back to meddle officiously with four 
good men who desired to settle, in their own 
way, a difference of opinion. 

Once the two McRaes held Mclntyre in their 
long arms until he was like a figure of the La 
ocoon. Jack's left had Dan's head in chancery, 
while with his right he upper-cut, only to batter 
his Iwuckles against the Mclntyre skull. 

Will you take water now, blank you ? " Mc 
Rae panted. 

For answer Strong Dan buckled his hips side- 
wise and with a feint of throwing his opponent 
backward, gave him the rolling-hip lock, and 
McRae turned in the air, falling on his back 
heavily. That would have settled it if it had not 
been for the spare man. Before Mclntyre could 
recover from the throw he was back-heeled by 
the brother and brought down, with a McRae 
atop. 

Locke, jumping back from a swing of Camp- 
bells fist, found time for an impromptu kick at 
.[im McRae's ribs; and at the same minute Mc- 
lntyre turned his m n beneath. 

Jack was up again, and, first pivoting a blow 

into the base of Locke's skull by way of assist- 

ance to Campbell, reached down and clutched at 

Mclntyre's throat with his long fingers for a 

17 



Thirteen men 

strangle-hold. Then he pitched forward at a 
blow from Locke, and the three— the two Mc- 
Raes and Mclntyre— rolled over and over in a 
rround-tussle. Suddenly Jim McRac's hand, 
clutching treacherously at his enemy's face, 
found an opening, and two fingers slipped into 
his mouth, fastening upon the cheek in a gouge- 
hold. 

Just as Locke had landed a subduing blow 
over Campbell's heart he heard a half-smothered 
cry of " Gouge 1 " from his comrade. The flick- 
ering firelight fell red upon the polished steel of 
an ax almost at Locke's feet. With an oath the 
sailor swung it over his head, and, springing to 
the struggling group, cried: "Let him up, you 
dogs, or I'll split your heads open! I'll smash 
you like a rat for gouging— you cowardly 
Indians I " 

Locke's address was short and very much to 
the point; even the advantage of a gouge-hold 
sank into insignificance compared with the ad- 
vantage a man held standing above them, ax in 
hand. With a growl Jack McRae rose to his 
feet, while the fingers of Jim uncurled from their 
vise-like grip. 

With a twist Dan turned the McRae under 
and sprang to his feet, saying: "Get up now, 
you dirty dog, whatever I Stand by, Ben, to see 
i8 



THE TURBULENTS 



fair play an- I'll lick the .vo of them. Fight- 
in nver boys — gougers 1 " 

th/Sa'„3 Y°'"'' *'''^d""™i"«!n^ between 

Tver tt I ' ^°T'' ''"' '^' '''««^'- ^" well 

over the I.nc into the illegitimate. 

"^Il7".u"'''"^' ^'"'" ^'^' ^postulated; 

be! yful of fight th.s time. We don't scrap with 
old women that scratch " 

allv^ai?" "'V^ '^^ P"''="^' ''"''^ kind usu- 
ay, and, as .s the manner of that tribe, when 

hisbood was up, was hard to subdue. 

1 11 tell you this whatever, Jack McRae," 
he sa,d angnly, "I-l, gi,e you a thrashin' L 
thus mghfs work yet. You've boasted from 
Rodney to the town line that you could best any 
man m the Scotch Block, an' I'll „,ake you eal 
your words. An' forbye you're doubtin' wha 
I^msayn, just step out here an' fight like a 

retZd"'"^?''°"!; ''''""• Mclntyre," McRae 

in' axes '" ' *'''"" "°^ ""' ^°-"''» ''-"g" 

This exchange of compliments was good, in 

he.rj J ?' '"P'*' ^'■'"" ^^*'°" allowed the 
heated blood to cool. And as for fighting, it 

clamored for more than had been served out in 
19 



THIRTEEN MEN 

the ash swamp. Mclntyre's face bore eloquent 
testimony to the excellence of the entertainment, 
and the McRaes were battle-scarred to a high 
degree. 

As the two parties gathered their axes and 
prepared to depart, Mclntyre spoke again : " I'll 
tell you. Jack McRae, why Queenie didn't tackle 
the coon, fearin' ye'U spread it from the town 
line to the lake that she's no a good coon dog: 
yon coon is Swampy, that she raised as one of 
her own pups; and that's why she'd no put a 
tooth in him. And now, Locke, do you away up 
the tamarack again and bring Swampy down in 
your arms this time. We'll take him back U the 
shanty." 



ao 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 

IN the first place Lieut. Hugh Royd became 
of .merest, as far as this story is concerned, 
even '"/'"8°°"-. ^hat was long enough ago 

taken bv°h- T '"'"^ '^'''•"'- ''»' ''»« 
taken by h„ royal neck and led out of the 

countn. by the British Raj.-thirty-one yea„. 

Nobody ever quite knew why he apsUd out of 

he regiment, which is a Hind,ostanee word de 

wo"rke"d'«kr"T"'""''''^ '''''^''- "' ^^'^ 
a Sub .Ih f \'T *° «" *"■* commission a, 
a Sub, and fought like a hero to exchange that 
for somed^mg higher; and then in a singlf n gh 

.sh „ffl ''\^«'°"«'«'' paraphernalia of a Brit! 

ish officer, and m the morning crawled aboard an 

outgomg steamer-a thing closely allied to a 
oaal panah; for when a young man cuts the 
entice without some higher motive ostensibly 

'" sight, It ,s considered decidedly bad form 

sta^Zi^ T ""^"^' ^'"^ '' '''^" ^ «^«P''n8 
TTT '■ il ' """""" ^'^' '"'<J ^J^o one other 
man, who did not cut the service. She did not 
tell; neither did the other man; Royd disa^ 

21 



THIRTEEN MEN 

peared, so practically nobody knew. And this 
story has only to do with die other end of Royd's 
long drawnK)ut term of misfit in the universe. 

Neither does what had happened in the inter- 
vening d>irty-one years matter much; for it was 
at the end of that time, in the present year, that 
the love replica came again to Kootenay Royd, 
ex-Lieutenant in Her Majesty's service. 

Almost at the feet of Chief Mountain, close 
to the Montana boundary, a gigantic doorway 
has been cleft through the Rocky Mountains— 
the Kootenay Pass. In the mouth of the Pass, 
nestling among the grass-covered foothills like 
a string of blue-green jade stones, lies a crescent 
of water, delicately slender as a new moon— the 
Kootenay Lakes. In the lakes swim the gold- 
shimmered rainbow trout, almost the size of 
giant salmon. When the south-traveling sun 
bends to its autumn sleep over the snow-crested 
hills to the west at eventide, elk and caribou and 
bear and gray wolf steal down from the spruce 
forests, which lie like a velvet mantle on the 
breasts of the uplands to the empurpled waters 
and drink m leisurely content, for it is far from 
the leather-scented trail of man. 

On the brink of the middle lake crouches a 
small log shack; in the shack homes Kootenay 
Royd. And to him in the crouching shack, at 

32 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 

the end of thirty^ne years, cams the thine of 
which no one spoke that other time, and made 
this little story. 

The antlered deer and the trout with the 
shimmer of the rainbow on their fatted sides 
were not enough to Kootenay Royd. The spir- 
Its up in the mountains, always busy with their 
storm-making and cloud-building, gibed at him, 
and whispered at him, and conned over in black 
n.ght that other story which nobody knew, until 
he cinched tight his broncho saddle on a piebald 
cayuse and rode many miles nordi to the land of 
the Lrees. 

He tied tl.e cwe-necked cayuse to a tent peg 
outs.de of Stone Axe the Chiefs lodge, dipped 
through the lowbrowed slit that served as door, 
and with much sign talk conversed with the red 
man over the expediency of accepting ten horses 
for his daughter. Weighed against her personal 
charms, a yearling colt would have been ^n ex- 
orbitant price to pay, but as the daughter of a 
Chief, not a hoof less than twenty hones would 
secure her, Stone Axe explained. 

Kootenay had seen Nichemous, the Chief's 
daughter once at Stand-off, the unlawful capital 
of the whisky smugglers' domain. But that was 
not at all why .e had come for her, even Koote- 
nay knew that; she must have made medicine to 
23 



THIRTEEN MEN 

lure him, or the ipirit winds from the mountain, 
had whiipered her name when he sat in the midst 
of ^a sohtudc that was leagues broad on every 

It was something of this sort; it could not 
have been romance, for she was ugly dose to 
the point of fascination; built on the lines of a 
wheelbarrow_as devoid of grace, only blacker, 
and more disconsdlately in evidence forever and 
ever. 

chief the value of twenty horses; there was an 
unseemly tea dance at which the apostafe pJe- 
face became in verity a dweUer in proscribed 
limits — a squaw man. 

Kootenay took her back with him to the lop- 
sided shack that seemed forever threatening to 
commit suicide by a plunge in the ^rout-peopled 

Her talk drowned the voices of the wind spir- 
Its; and she kept the shack clean, and cooked his 
ood after the crude fashion of her savage an- 
cestry. * 

Kootenay read the books that came from other 
lands-Latin and French and English; and out- 
wardly npened in the personification of a man 
who had never worn anything but leather chapps 
since the donning of early raiment. 
24 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 

The Weitem world', knowledge of Kootcnav 
wa. not extensive; he wa, "a queer fiT'-'a 

ferei"??"" " ^""'^ «"'de/' ." an who in 
teripersed Lat.n quotation, and classic oaths 

achSin ? "° "*''"■ P"''" had ever 
acnieved in his remembrance. All fh«. »k- 

were confusing in the extreme; bu tthey wt" fs' 

thlilLnT^'- ^ "!'"« '" ""^ »«!"« log shack 
that leaned plaintively out toward the jade-gree„ 

Tm^ I ''""« "™"8 "Pon him set his 

S'f^oTthe''' ""J''?' ' ""'» ™" ^-i 
"lucs rrom the mouth of thi« Pa., t 

-ncsintheWestmeanslv^S^^^rb^ 
And also with the new man was his daughter 

W'thayearofageuponherforeve^S;; 
*5 



THIRTEEN MEN 

trail that lay between their new log shack and the 
homing place of Kootenay Royd. 

Her name wasn't Helen at all; but this is a 
true story. The culture that was in Helen com- 
pletely blotted out the many years of Kootenay's 
dwelling in the catacombs, until, though he was 
actually fifty-five, he was really just turned one 
score when he talked to her. That was why it 
all came back with such silly force — the love- 
thing. The man that was fifty-five, that was 
Kootenay, hunted and fished, and wandered up 
the steep sides of Chief Mountain for bighorn; 
and came back tired and sat dejectedly opposite 
the black Cree squaw, and called her " Niche- 
mous," which means " My dear." And the man 
who was just turned a score, that was Lieutenant 
Royd, galloped to the ranch and talked to Helen 
of the things that were in the East; which are 
books written by poets, and music that wails 
from the cord strings of a violin, and of lilac 
blossoms that grow purple, or lilies that stand 
pale at Easter, and of all the other unnecessary 
things which a squaw man should know nothing 
about; for if he do, and the squaw become more 
coarse in the fullness of time, it is all apt to end 
in the uncanonized way. 

Also Helen sketched with a charming disre- 
gard of perspective and unnecessary variation of 
26 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 

•fc»n the i«,ua„ who „! '.'•»■ >^"""e„ 
tiling,, c„„ldd,rr„r *'"«"■ """i'l 

Ittle, envied, bboLJw Iv»T "1 ,*' 
much h«™7" ? "" ""'' ™"' "Id »"<i 

w.-tr,r"h:,T;rd„t'irh"; 

• 27 



THIRTEEN MEN 



other was near. Yes, it must have been that: it 
was impossible that such a physical rebuke to the 
glory of creation could feel anything of love for 
the paleface who was not even a savage. The 
gnawing pain must have been because of the cold 
and hunger which was the heritage of her people. 

The obese Nichemous saw every little act in 
the scheme of transformation which set in over 
the person of hir white lord. One morning the 
grizzled locks that had rested erratically against 
his sloped shoulders for a decade were clipped 
close to the roots and tossed disdainfully out 
among the sienna-colored bunch grass. Then 
he shaved. 

No wonder that the furtive little eyes that 
were like the eyes of a hippopotamus took on 
a lurid heat that burned back to the hot brain. 
When he bathed himself, a new vista was opened 
up to her slow, speculating mind; he was turn- 
ing wehtigo — becoming crazy. 

An Indian stalks game with a silent tongue, 
and the squaw watched much and said nothing. 

The coming of the ranchman had been when 
the Chinook — which is the gentle breath of the 
mountains when they are not angry — came down 
through the Pass and kissed the lonesome- 
hearted earth, and the hot lips melted the late 
spring snow that lay about, and the grass came 
28 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 
up green, and the grouse mated. Then the sum 

and full of plaintive tragedy '^' 

ToJe J^' 1 '""« P™P°^'' °^ *he offcastL 

Together they rode over to where her brothe; 

had h.s tepee among the Blood Indians and 

akeUnrr''""^*^'^ ''''' Nichemous wou d 

go back to her people. It was like cutting 



THIRTEEN MEN 



the grizzled hair, part of the metamorphosis of 
Kootenay, the recrudescence of the man in the 
living catacombs. 

If Kootenay 's eyes had not been touched with 
rose salve, the strange feeling of loneliness, of 
having wrenched himself from something that 
had been in his life, would have asserted itself 
more strongly as he rode back to the crouching 
shack by the string of jeweled lakes; hut he 
planned fast atihis air castle, every mirrored wall 
of which reflected a sweet girl face; and the 
broad, black visage of the other grayed down 
into the dead past until it became only something 
that he had turned his back upon. 

Nichemous stood stolidly in front of her 
brother's lodge watching the horseman as he 
loped over the tawny sea of gold-brown prairie. 
In the huge face was the gravity of many things; 
and in the little eyes the light of something which 
the slow-going brain had evolved from the chaos 
that had come into her existence. When the 
horseman had become only a tiny wabbling blur, 
she went into the lodge, sat down and smoked a 
small graystone pipe until the brass-ringed bowl- 
mouth became hot. At the end of three pipes 
she rose, took a rawhide medicine bag from th? 
folds of a blanket, sat down again and crooned 
softly to it a strange guttural, " Hi-yi-yi ; 
3<J 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 

ooh.h.h.huh-huhI" On the white side of the 
medicme bag were two yellow and red diamonds 
and a figure in blue like a spearhead; its bLei 
were tasse^ed with coarse threads of burk^ 
From a red handkerchief she unrolled two cr.de 

a man and woman; ,t was Kootenay and herself 
She pressed the man figure to her coa„e Ju i 
hps heavly, clumsily; then rolled them face 
to face, m many folds of red cloth, slipped thm 
'n the gayly decorated medicine bag anS hun.^ 
on a forked willow behind the tfpee Sure V 
Kootenay's frail castle was builded in the air 

hid it r:"^-"'^^'--^-"^-"*- 

m^l7J^- ""^1"''''° ^'•'^ night Nichemou, 
made medicme with the charm bag to bring back 
the white man who had been good to her Thet 
ret.ca„y, knewnothingoflL;sheru:;wi;ted 
It thl h- . ""T '^''^ ""^ ^°°^ wonderingly 
.„t?h r ""f '"'" ^^'^ '^"ghed -nd frowned 
A .,T. "' ""^ °"'y *™"Wed her to cook a httle 
and fill h.s pipe. And the medicine that t s 1 

reserve (for N.chemous went not to her own 
people) and got into the muscles of the wh" 
2"- H,s arms twitched, and the winds from 
the mountam came down through the Pass and 
31 



THIRTEEN MEN 

screamed at him through the chinks in his log 
shack, and the lapping waters of the lake bab- 
bled strange noises. 

It was the medicine Nichemous made that 
changed all his plans; that drove Kootenay to 
break a lance with Fate moons before he meant 
to — that made him ride to the tourney of his 
undoing. 

At the offcasting Nichemous had claimed his 
pinto riding hdrse as one of the twenty. At the 
time Kootenay had not understood why she was 
so insistent upon this point, for he could not hear 
her whispering to herself, " I will keep the pinto 
for when the paleface comes back." So he 
cinched up a chestnut broncho, with a great gap- 
ing hollow on its inner thigh where a wolf had 
sought to hamstring it as a two-year-old. 

As Kootenay loped out of the Pass, the medi- 
cine that was to the south in the lodges of the 
Bloods drew him to the wrong trail. For an 
hour he galloped, conscious of nothing but that 
the air held the perfume of lilacs and the music 
of young laughter and die presence of love. 
Then the chestnut put the wolf-bitten leg into a 
badger hole and brought the dreamer with an 
exaggerated flourish down among the stunted 
yellow dandelions and purple violets. The 
man's energetic comments perhaps broke the 
32 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 
spell of the tiny manikins, for when he looked 
across the prairie he saw that he had ridden 
miles out of his way. 

That night he talked to Helen of things that 
were as startling as though Chief Mountain had 
slid out fifty miles into the plain in a single day 
"f course, it only meant much misery to the 
girJ, for she had never thought of it in that way 
It was the rose salve that had blinded Kootenay 
-that was all. The talk of flowers and books 
and the thnll of " Rusticana " had not made 
this squaw man of the old age a lover in her 
young eyes. At home there was the talk of cat- 
tie; of calves and cows and bulls; storms and 
grass feed and beef-nothing but beef-less 
romance than there was in the medicine bag of 
the squat, black squaw, and the glamour of this 
almost extmct gentleman had been pleasant as 
triendship— only as friendship. 

Even from Kootenay the spell fell away, and 
he, too, saw himself as he had been before the 
coming of Helen. 

The goblin in the medicine bag laughed as the 
white man rode the wolf-maimed chestnut de- 
jectedly back to his log shack. Nichemous 
heard the laugh and crooned softly her weird 
witch song, and gave five horses to the friends 
inat had been friends to her brother. 
33 



THIRTEEN MEN 

When thirty years of life come back to a man 
in one day it is apt to stoop the shoulders a little 
and for the full turn of a moon Kootenay sat 
by the emerald-green lake like one who has been 
caressed by a blizzard. He swept up the tiny 
fragments of his shattered castle and threw them 
out against the wind— the mountain wind diat 
ch.ded back, and carried the tale to the demon 
m the medicme bag on the Blood reserve. 

Nichemous Waited, for she came of a patient 
race, and took the little manikin from the raw- 
hide, ocher-marked bag and caressed it until her 
bead eyes became blurred with mists of joy. 

Every night the medicine-bag demon called to 
the lone paleface and twitched at his muscles; 
and every day Kootenay drew a pencil ^*-rough 
a black-lettered date on a calendar that hung 
just over the table where he had sat so many 
times opposite the Cree woman who was Ni- 
chemous. 

The effacing of the other time had been thirty 
years; surely now he would wait thirty days and 
dnnk of the wormwood tonic which was hope- 
less resignation. 

Sometimes he laughed bitterly at the utter 
foolishness of the thing that had come to him. 
Living at the foot of Chief Mountain and seeing 
only blinking elk eyes, o ' ' 



34 



! pig eyes of a griz- 



THE OFFCASTING OF NICHEMOUS 
zyy, had strangely tortured his knowledge of the 
e crnal fitness of things; but Helen's qufet, kind 
RU.t.ve words :.d shown hi. how p'articrrj 

adv"nt ^°" *" ^"^ ''"" »'"« h« 

Small wonder he sat for thirty days and 
scored h.n,self with a rare inventivTgen us bo- 
of h.s excted condition. Sometimes it was w^tT 
a levty that was all awry; sor.^.imes it was^he 
hollow despair of a man who counts the d y 

t s ha„7 " '^'kT'"^ °"* ^°^ «-«t flower, 
h.s hand came back laden with nothing bu 

tcSytoir """^^-^-''^ "— -^ 

When he had penciled out thirty days of sit 

heaw teH '"'" *° '•'^ '"'^^^ ^here the 

Neither this time did the red and yellow eves 
show any surprise. She knew; it was as the 
demon had said it would be. 

lefflnn' ^T"^' ^'^ «'^^" '''«« were ten 
eft, and m three days they were eating grass in 
the shadow of Chief Mountain; and kIZ" 
was once more just a squaw man, deep in the ter^ 
nble pathos of what might have been. 
35 



THE HOME-COMING 
NAKANNIES 



OF THE 



IF you travel into the northwest comer of 
Canada, close under the shoulder of the 
Rockies, and ask a Sicanee Indian about 
the Nakannies, he will fill his pipe and smoke, 
and talk about anything in the world but these 
people. By lavish expenditure of tobacco and 
other things of rare value, and by persistently 
pinning him down to the business in hand, 
you may get him to talk of them. He will tell 
you that they are bad-spirit Indians; that they 
always hear when they are talked about, but are 
never seen. 

If two Indians go out after moose and never 
come back, the solution is simple — they are with 
the Nakannies. If a family start at grandfather 
and die off until even the last papoose, swathed 
and laced tight in its moss bag, is gone, that is 
the work of the Nakannies. 

That is the belief of the other tribes; but the 
white trappers say that this tribe lives up in the 
gorges of the Rockies, and is tough — very tough. 
36 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

All agree, red. white, and " pinto." that the Na- 

theT.r'?h°"" '" '^' ""''-"''y """^h i" 
theflesh. That was as I am going to tell you. 

Many moons ago they lived in the foothills 

o the Rock.es just at the great cut in the granite 

chff, where the chmook wind comes smiling 

through and kisses the babe snow into non-ex- 

istencc. That time no iron horse tore through 

the a^ure-draped portal, of the castle mountain,; 

there were only the soft chinook and odd parties 

°JJT"1 "^^'•'^r'"' " **"y *"'d each 
other back and forth through the big gate 

The land of the Nakannie, ran to the very 
edge of the stone rampart. They hunted the 
grizzly up to h.s rocky home and slew him; they 
ran the buffalo on the herb-turfed plain, and their 
tepee,, built from the skins of the slain bison, 
stood gorgeous white in the autumn sun. They 
were not stock raisers; when they needed ponies 
they stole them. It wasn't really ,tealing-the 
pome, were the ,poil, of war; al«, the scalp, of 
the Blackfoot, that came home with the horse- 
hunting braves. 

War Cloud was the chief. He had two son,. 

tagle Strength, the elder, and Day Child. Their 

spiritual life wa, looked after by Wolverine, a 

medicine m.in. 

Then one day Father Descoign came among 

37 



I E 



THIRTEEN MEN 

them. It was almost as thbugh he had dropped 
from heaven. Of a verity he simply came 
among them. War Cloud gave him a tepee, and 
told the young bucks not to molest the paleface 
Med.cme Man If they were spoiling for excite- 
men they could go out and cut the throats of the 
Blackfoot, or go higher up in the mountains a bit 
and fight Stonies. 

Now the Nakannies were about as unarable a 
block of theological land as one could well look 
for, but that did not matter to Pire Descoign 
The pnests were' all like that; they came and 
hammered away at the unbelief of the pagan 
tribes until some one believed; then they kept on. 
and by and by others had faith. 

The first to listen to the priest was Day Child, 
rhe father taught him French and die Christian 
religion. 

Above all, the Indian has a simple directness 
of thought wh.ch gets very close to the root of 
thmgs. The good fadier taught Day Child that 
the Manitou of the paleface was all-powerful, 
and that men who sold themselves to the Evil 
One were sure to suffer in the end. The simple- 
ness of that appealed to the primitive mind of 
the young Nakannie, and the longer he thought 
over It the more certain he became that it was 
a very unpolitic thing to have anything to do 
38 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

with the devil. Many time, he filled the red 
•tone bowl of his pipe and emptied it over this 
untortuoui problem before he cryitallized hit 
Ideas m .ords. 

At la.t Day Child spoke: " Your Manitou i, 
chief over all the spirits, even as War Cloud is 
great among Indians. Is not that so, Pale- 

" It is true," asserted the priest laconically. 
He IS greater than the Evil Spirit you have 
told Day Child about ? " 

"I have spoken that it is so," answered 
rather Descoign. 

"And the foolish braves you have told me 
of, who made treaty with this devil, will not go 
to the Happy Hunting Ground at all ? " 

'' Day Child's words are true," the priest said. 
Ihen I will make treaty with God, who is 
your Manitou," said Day Child decisively, hold- 
ing out his hand to the white man as earnest of 
his intention. "The Evil Spirit appeared to 
those foolish white men and made treaty with 
them; is that not so. Paleface? " 
The father nodded his head in acquiescence. 
Then call your Manitou to appear and make 
treaty with Day Child, that I and my tribe may 
be at peace with this great Spirit Chief, your 
Manitou." ' 

39 



I 



w 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Now all this was rather startling to the good 
father and he realized that the air was, so to 
speak, full of great things. Either the faith of 
this young warrior must be held or his hope for 
good harvest in that field be forever abandoned. 
Bravery and diplomacy go hand in hand in the 
Christian crusade against the gods of the pagan 
Indians, so Father Descoign answered: 

" I will ask my Master to speak to Day Child, 
whose heart is inclined toward Him." 

That night Father Descoign said to the young 
Indian : " To-morrow night the God of the pale- 
faces, who is also the God of the red man, will 
speak to Day Child where the river bursts 
through the hills and falls over the rocks." 

All that night the brave priest prayed forgive- 
ness for the deed he was about to do. It was for 
the good of these poor people that he would im- 
personate his Master for a little time. 

The next night Day Child saw God, even as 
the priest had said he would. The young son of 
the chief and two Nakannies crouched silently 
beside the waterfall and waited for the paleface 
Manitou. 

All the little tricks the reverend father knew 
—the luminosity of sulphurous matches damped 
and rubbed on the face, and all the rest of it- 
he practiced. It was a clumsy enough represen- 
40 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 
tation, but it succeeded; and Day Child made 
treaty with the Great Spirit, who'told hL ^a 

finrghiir^"^'^^^-™--^'- 

. From that time on Day Child and his ever- 
mcreasmg following prospered. They ceased 
ITa Z" '."'^ '""'"■°" horse-stealings and 
It J..' -'^hildishly enough at firsf-and 
whlh K / uT'*^ P™^P^™"^ '■" the land 
Tatttelf " '-' ''"" '^' - --'•-«'"« 
A blood fury was growing on Wolverine; his 
power was gradually becoming less. His medi- 
cne sometimes worked success for the braves 

wtrdtr:'"-'^'''^"'^^^^''-^-^- 

.nH?"''"!,'' ^^"^ *^'^ ^'"' ^°«h to battle, 
and h.s medicme had said the foray would be 
uccessfPl, they came home very much the wol 
fo wear and considerably battered-some did 
not even come at all. But the priest's medicine 
wh.ch was God's law, worked for good £Z' 
and Day Child's band prospered. ^' 

Then Wolverine ■;vorked his charms and had 

strtr* i """' *" ^'^ ^'"■''^ -""J'l become 
stronger and stronger because of the evil cunning 

of .he pnest; and. in the end, War Cloud and 

Eagle Strength would have to sit like squaws in 

41 



I' 



THIRTEEN MEN 

the council, silent, when Day Child, wf - irould 
then be chief, spoke. 

He roused the fury of the Nakannies by say- 
ing that they would all become squaws. What 
would it profit them if they were prosperous and 
worked like women in the field? The Blackfoot 
braves to the east of them, the Peigans to the 
south, the Stonies who were in the west, and the 
Crees who crouched among the spruce and aspen 
in the north would close in on them if they were 
not warriors, and take all they had— even their 
scalps and their women. 

What need had they to work like squaws — 
there were buffaloes to kill for meat, and their 
enemies had horses to give for the asking? What 
more did they want? They had fire and food 
and skins for their lodges and a great name as 
warriors among the fighting people of that land. 
Would they trade all these comforts and all this 
glory for squaw valor, and toil and slave like 
pack dogs? Would they be like this, or would 
they be braves? 

Day Child and the priest had right on their 
side; but they were terribly handicapped because 
of the labor their policy entailed. Work will 
weigh down all the things of this world in the 
scale of an Indian's calculation. The priest's 
policy meant labor; Wolverine's, the traditional 
42 



HOME-COMING OF NAkANNIES 
' good s«„, ,h.„fa ,„ hi, dn,m.dc eiL t^ 

-d Day cIJS's band r^cT^^^^^^^ ""' "''"'' 
the Icnif- V L ' "^ "** •'rave, put to 

Moons came and wen*- ,„j 
themselves into a dLde ' d v/''!?."""*^''^ 
called over the t Jl of mj^ty^^L^"!' "" 

Wnt^, a,on« which heCVhltt'soT 

k^i dTCTimt";. "i^ ^" p^"^ -» 

Ground and^, *' "''PP^ ""«'"« 

FooSwaskft^o rr' ^'" P"* ''"''^•^ him 
was lefr «\1 ! V°"« J°""''y' »nd his lodge 

was left standing and untenanted. ^ 

Then Wolverine spoke to the tribe- 
* 43 



THIRTEEN MEN 



r' 



" Brothers, behold I am Wolverine I When 
I sleep Manitou comes and whispers that which 
is good for the Nakannies. Who told you that 
your Chief, War Cloud, would be called to the 
Happy Hunting Ground in two moons? Was 
not that Wolverine, who stands before you ? 

" When I make my medicine and blow it out 
upon the other tribes they become as children in 
their fear of you who are my braves. Who 
worked the medicine which brought the pitted 
disease that ate "into the flesh of the Blackfoot 
ur:ti 1 they died like scourged rabbits ? Was that 
n.:'. Wolverine — and was it not because they 
came in the night and stole the daughter of our 
great chief who has now gone to the Happy 
Hunting Ground? When I made medicine the 
Nakannie braves went forth and laughed at the 
arrows of the Blackfoot and Stonies, and brought 
back war ponies and scalps and glory to the 
lodges of our tribe. 

" It was I, Wolverine, wlio knew, because of 
my medicine, that trouble would come to you 
through the little paleface priest, who spoke with 
the forked tongue of a false Manitou. But the 
Chief, War Cloud, who is now dead, had a good 
heart, and said, ' Let the little paleface rest in 
the lodges of the Nakannies.' And for days 
Wolverine had evil dreams because of that. 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

became squaws also; they tr ded their warho'e" 
wJo arf nT """' '''"«'''='^' '""^ *<= Stonies 

5."; tiS w4'\";r/a'" "^'^- ^' 
sltStaiarh^H-r^^ 

45 



THIRTEEN MEN 

brothers, Eagle Strength, the son of War Cloud, 
is chief, and his heart thirsts for the land where 
he was bom — where the buffaloes crowd the 
grass plains like clouds in the sky, and their fat 
will warm us and their skins keep us from the 
cold winds. Wolverine has made medicine, and 
knows that there are no redcoats there ; and that 
the spirits of Day Child and his squaw brothers 
have gone to the Happy Hunting Ground. 

" We will go back to our home prairies, and 
Wolverine will drive the spirits of the dead 
away, and you, my braves, will fight the Black- 
foot and the Stonies, and conquer because of the 
medicine of Wolverine. Are we rabbits to skulk 
here among the stones because we have killed the 
squaw men of the fork-tongued priest? Wol- 
verine has spoken." 

When the Medicine Man sat down there was 
deep silence in the little valley in which they 
lived; for the awe of the home-going had stolen 
over the spirits of the Nakannies. 

Then Eagle Strength rose, tall and stately, 
every inch a warrior, and stiffening his bronze 
body, threw back his head, and from his power- 
ful throat came, like the note of a bugle, the 
joyous battle cry, full of defiance and eagerness 
and resolve. Every brave took it up, until the 
mountain side rang with the wolflike cry of hun- 
46 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 
drcds of fierce voices. In their souls was that 

and that hngered hke a memoir of Paradise 
to these outcast red men. 

It bJt ^°'^^r " '"«^'""«. had told them to 
go back where the grass was rich a- sweet for 

thronged the plam; and there were enemies to 
fight m the open, and scalps and ponies to get by 
conquest. Small wonder that their hearts^ried 
out m joy, and they looked upon Eagle Strength 
.nthehghtof a deliverer! If WolvfrineW 
cme kept the sp.rits of their murdered brother 

fn Tar ' ''" "° ^"^ ''" °^ ""^''^ '^'^ «°°d 

I.W 1" "/« the sun peeped down into the Val- 

it'ed? A "'?/'"• "''*=" '^' Nakannies had 
Wed and hunted for years, there was nothing but 
a few smoldenng camp fires, a myriad of bare 
tepee poles, the empty lodge of Ae dead chief, 
and the grave in which he slept. 

On the afternoon of the twentieth day of their 
Pjgnmage back to the land of their'natv.^ 
Wolvenne sa^d: "Spell here, brothers, for i^ 
are clo!u> tn tU. i-_j —l- • • ' ""^ 



arc close to the land which 



47 



is ours. The smell 



THIRTEEN MEN 

of the sweet grass is in Wolverine's nostrils, and 
the soft pad of the buffalo hoofs on the prairie 
run is in his ears. To-night when the hills rise 
between us and the sun we will go forward to the 
home that is ours; then in the morning, when 
Manitou sends the sun up in the east, it will find 
us there." 

A Medicine Man has two qualifications, po- 
etry and diplomacy,, and Wolverine had played a 
strong hand in his last address. It would be 
better to get there in the night, because if there 
were objections to their coming there might also 
be objections to their going away. Wolverine 
would take the lay of the land in the dark, so to 
speak. That was the utility of the diplomacy; 
the poetry was for the Indians, and saved dis- 
cussion. 

When darkness h-d crept across the tangled 
mass of rosebush and sweet grass, and the yel- 
low-faced Gaillardias of the plain, and chased 
the dying sun up the gray of the foothills, and 
across the splashing crystals of the Bow River, 
and draped the tawny forms of the Nakannies 
in its sombemess. Wolverine spoke to Eagle 
Strength, and the tribe moved down the sloping 
approaches to the Rockies, and stole silently, like 
spirit shadows, across the prairie. 

In each breast was the smothered joy of home- 
48 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

coming; in each heart the pagan fear of the spir- 
its of their murdered relatives. Even the dogs 
trailed their tails, and with flapping lips skulked 
close to the heels of the silent squaws. Not a 
babe prattled. The flower carpet of the flattened 
earth mufiled the hoof beats of the soft-stepping 
horses as the spectral troop slid through the thick 
gloom. It was the blood fear that was over all 
— the spirit terror. 

In front Wolverine rode his gray horse 
straight as an arrow for the old camping home 
of the Nakannies. Even the horse, which was a 
sucking colt when the Indians lied from the fear 
of the redcoats, held his nose true to the point, 
as the mariner's needle cleaves to the north. 
Wolverine clasped the little medicine bag that 
dangled from his neck. Over and over he whis- 
pered a charm to ward off the spirit vengeance of 
Day Child. Once he turned on his horse and 
looked up at the Indian's clock— the star-jeweled 
" dipper." The gleaming hand, circling round 
the North Star, had moved three hours since 
they rested. They were halfway there, he whis- 
pered to Eagle Strength in a hushed voice. The 
chief leaned far over the neck of his horse to 
catch what Wolverine said. The muffled hol- 
lowness of the voice had been lost in the slipping 
of the hoofs in the dry grass. 

49 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"Halfway," whispered Wolverine again; 
and Eagle Strength tat bolt upright and held 
his small bead eyes straight forward into the 
gloom. 

When the dipper had cut three hours more 
from its circle path, and stood almost straight 
over the North Star, Wolverine stopped his 
horse and slid to the ground. The others closed 
around him silently, like soldiers forming up 
before a stockade that is to be assaulted at day- 
break. A little to the right the daric line of the 
earth rounded against the purple of the sky. 
The Medicine Man was standing with his face 
set against the mound. Eagle Strength and the 
others knew what that meant— on that hill Day 
Child and his band had made their last stand; 
and on its top, unburied, they had been left for 
wolf and vulture. 

" Hobble the ponies and sleep here," whis- 
percd the Medicine Man hoarsely. 

The night air was thick with stillness. Wol- 
verine ran his hand over the flank of his horse; 
the gray was trembling, and his ears were twitch- 
ing nervously back and forth— now cocking for- 
ward in nervous curi ity, now drooping back in 
irritable weariness. Wolverine knew— even the 
horses were afraid. 
A low, trembling whimper cut through the 
50 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 
night like a whittling arrow from the top of the 

weird call .truck on their shrinking ears; a pack 
of coyote, had winded them. Apon-broke 
-ay .n affright and nearly ttam'^jed t 

Wolverine tteadied himself, and spoke 
sharply: " Nakannies, are you al squaw, Tie 
your horse, get away ? " •S"»w, ro let 

Before any horse could be hobbled, a dull, 
rumbhng moan came creeping through the graw 
and hushed the whimper of the wolves. It S 

away as suddenly as ,t began. The Medicine 

Aga n he heard .t. It was like the roar of angS 

and then there wa, ,ilence. Again it came 
onger and louder thi, tin.e. Th-> ^.L prf kTd 

voice of an angry ,p,nt, always growing louder 

»'rd made when Manitou was anerv Th^ 

f«r that had been silent in the heam ofTL 

51 



THIRTEEN MEN 



bravei began to mutter — they whispered to each 
other: "That it Day Child'i band crying for 
blood I" 

Wolverine'i gray anorted and tossed his head 
impatiently from side to side, and rubbed his 
nose forcibly against the Medicine Man's breast. 
Eagle Strength stood silently watching in the di- 
rection of the spirit noises. A dull, muttering 
Tumble, breaking into a fierce, threatening call, 
startled them again, and a fiery eye glared at 
them from high u^ in the hills. Nastas, Eagle 
Strength's mother, screamed and sank in a broken 
heap at the feet of the young chief. 

The eye closed sullenly, the roar deadened, 
and there was only the muffled sound of some- 
thing gliding through the gloom toward them. 
Then again it broke forth with malignant fury, 
shooting its rays in long shafts out into the daric- 
ness of the plain. It closed again, only to scorch 
theii hearts nearer and fiercer the next second. 
No one spoke now; fear took them by the throat 
and paralyzed their tongues. They could see 
little bright flashes of light glinting from the 
scales of the huge monster all along its body as 
it rushed screaming and hissing down through 
the gateway of the hills. Back on its tail were 
two little green eyes that fascinated Wolverine. 
It was the angry God of the murdered priest — 
52 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

the dctroying Manitou he had said would 
•urely punish them for the killing of men. 

Fear and anger fought in the blood of Eagle 
^trength. He had been a child— a fool. He 
had listened to the words of Wolverine and 
ilam his blood brothers, the Nakannies, because 
they believed in this God— the God of the pale- 
face pnest. He could see little green and red 
eyes peering at him from the darkness far in 
advance of the dragon god with the monstrous 
eye. They were lesser spirits coming to devour 
his people because of the sin the false Medicine 
Man, Wolverine, had led them into. The 
dragon might destroy his people, but his hand 
would avenge their blood upon Wolverine. The 
huge, trailing, fire-vomiting dragon was close 
upon them, when, with a scream of defiance and 
barbanc triumph, he plunged his knife to the 
hilt in the Medicine Man's breast. 

This act roused the others. " Come, broth- 
ers, cned Eagle Strength, "we'll go back to 
our home on the Little Bear," and throwing him- 
self on his horse, he yelled a war song and lashed 
his horse across the flanks. 

As the tribe streamed over the plains to escape, 

the fire-belching monster circled in toward them, 

and the hot breath from his evil-smelling body 

smote upon the nostrils of Eagle Strength as he 

53 



THIRTEEN MEN 

lashed the last Nakannie across the iron path, 
under the very nose of the demon. Then they 
melted silently info the darkness of the long, 
back trail. 

Over on the dragon there was a screeching, 
hissing, grinding, as the feet of the monster 
gripped the iron of the gravel-packed trail and 
strove to stop its headlong charge. Passengers 
stood on their heads in the seats in front of their 
own, and cursed and prayed, each according to 
his readiness of habit. A short man in a blue 
coat, all spangled with brass buttons, slid from 
the side of the dragon and ran forward to it? 
head, with a loose, blinking eye under his arm. 

" What in blazes did you put on the ' emer- 
gency' for, Dick?" he screamed into the sul- 
phurous jaws of the thing's head. 

" Thought I was ninnin' into a pack of fool 
Injuns," grunted a voice thick with the fullness 
of stopping a heavy express on a down grade. 
And a burly demon came out of the white, hot 
mouth and stood wiping his brow. 

" Did you see 'em, Dick? " panted the little 
rian. 

" Seed a swarm of 'em, an' heerd 'em scream. 
An' the President, ol' Van Home, 'd rather 
wreck the best engine on the road than have a 
greasy ' nichie * killed." 
54 



HOME-COMING OF NAKANNIES 

" It's them spirits the fellows say are always 
about this ol' camping ground where they foj ,d 
a lot of dead Injuns when they were building 
the line. I guess that's what you saw, Dick." 

"Spirits be hanged! They was cavortin' 
about on the track 'tween the rails on their saw- 
horse bronchos, an' I slid right in among 'era. 
It 8 a miracle if I hain't killed none." 

"I guess it's all right, Dick— I hope we 
haven't killed any passengers," said the con- 
ductor, unshipping the eye from his arm. " All 
aboard 1 " 

The little lantern described a circle in the air, 
the monster tore at the iron trail with his huge 
feet, the lights slid off and were swallowed up 
m the gloom of the prairie night, and the home- 
coming of the Nakannies had been disrupted by 
the Pacific Express. 



SS 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

ONE evening in September a " Misle "- 
coated collie stood watching the door 
of the Red Lion Inn. 
Her attitude was one of pathetic expectancy 
—the beautiful, slim-tapered head cocked side- 
ways, and ears thrust forward from the heavy 
neck-ruff, vibrant -with the intensity of her inter- 
pretation of footsteps. 

Suddenly the dog's frame stiffened with joy. 
ous anticipation; there was the shuffle of many 
feet; the swinging door pushed outward; and 
four men in working garb issued boisterously to 
the sidewalk. 

The collie leaped joyously at her master with 
a yelp of delight, caressing his rough hand with 
her tongue. 

"There, there, girl— down I " the man said, 
•hoving her gently away. 

" But, Watson, you're an old rascal," one of 
the jovial four ejaculated, clutching Watson's 
arm and twisting him playfully about. 

Suddenly a mottled body with hair bristling 
sprang between the two; there was a gleam of 
56 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

white teeth, an ominous snarl, and a pair of 
weird wall-eyes, fierce in anger, glared at the 
maker of the horseplay. 

J'^iT^ °"*' P"' '''^*= « carel-down, girl I 
She d bite you in a jiffy, man," Watson cried in 
broken sentences. 
Bob's assailant released his hold, and jumped 

Sf;coi;ir''°°'°^^'^™--^°-»« 

.'.'\'" f^y I'" of you. Bob," he said. 
^^J.llyou,now? How much will you give, 

" Ten dollars." 

" Not for a thousand, Dannie, my boy. I'd 
sell a wifie first-if I had one. Ten dollars for 
Sracathna Princess I Man, I've been offered 
ntty; yon's a bench bitch." 
^^ Then turning to another of the group, he said : 
Come on, Murray. I'll go a bit of the road 
with you. 

Watson walked in silence beside his friend, the 
collie at their heels. 

H '^?"'.% '™""'"' y°"' Bob - you're 
dumpy ? Murray asked at the end of the block 
I was thinkin' of Dan's ten dollars. But I 
couldn't sell the doggie-my heart. I couldn't 
fell her, Jock. Could I, girl? " he asked, turn- 
mg to stroke the collie's head, 
57 



THIRTEEN MEN 

" D'you sec the answer in her eye, man- 
she's sayin' as plain as anything, *No, you 
could na.' " 

" She's a wise dog, Bob; she's almost human. 
But what is it about the ten dollars? " 

" I have a chance of a job at Buffalo. I've 
been on the shelf since the foundry closed down, 
an' I haven't the price o' a ticket." 

Murray pondered over this problem for a 
little, his hand clutching a slim roll of bills in 
his breeches' pocket — the week's wage. The 
money was needediat home — badly ; but Watson 
would have helped him with his last dollar — 
he knew that. 

With an impetuous movement, Murray 
crushed the bills into his friend's hand, saying, 
" Here's ten dollars for you. Bob." 

But the other drew back, protesting : " You're 
needin' it yourself, Jock." 

For answer Murray shoved the money into 
Bob's vest pocket, and turned away. 

" I'll not borrow it, Jock," Watson said, " but 
I'll take it if you'll keep the collie." 

" I don't want the dog." 

" Keep her, man; and when I'm in funds I'll 

buy her back. If anything happens me, die's 

yours; and don't you see, Jock, you could get 

your own back, and I'd die, as I lived, owin' no 

58 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

tne old girl for all time." 

Hnh.^n':'!! V" *""" '^^^"^ Scotch way, 

?er o i f ^""i^' ^""''^ ^'''" "-» with 
her to the house and have a bite of supper " 

In ten minutes the two friends came to a little 

rough-cast cottage setting back from the street. 

I ye brought Watson home for supper, Mar- 

Sd h "\"l' '° ^'•^ "" « who 
greeted him at the door. 

Murray ate his simple meal in troubled silence. 
How could he reconcile his wife to the receipt of 
a dog mstead of the needed money ! 

to Rf?r''v *'*"'''"• '''"''^= "Bob's going 
to^Buffalo, w.fe, an' I've bought the collie from 

Margaret's face mirrored her dismay. It was 
just this careless improvidence that frittered 
away Jack's earnings. 

" Are you no likin' dogs? " Watson said, for 
Margaret s silence brought an ominous lull in the 

" ] ^''Y"'y hands full with baby; besides-" 
slK closed her teeth on the lower lip and turned 

"The collie'll take care of baby for you. 
She s a gran' hand wi' children." 
This was a most barefaced assertion, for Bob 
' 59 



THIRTEEN MEN 

was a bachelor and children had not come the 
way of the Princess at all. 

" Collies are treacherous — they're apt to 
snap," Margaret retorted; inwardly she was 
wondering how much precious money had been 
wasted over the useless canine. 

" I'll just show you, mistress — bring little 
Elsie here, and you'll see." 

"It will frighten baby," Margaret objected. 
" Not a bit of it, wife," Murray asserted. 
And going to the cot he brought the child and 
placed her on Wdtson's knee. 

" Here, girl," Bob said to the dog. The col- 
lie put her wise head on her master's leg, and 
looked inquiringly into his face. 

" You're to take care o' little Elsie, old girl," 
Bob said with great gravity. " An' if anyone 
goes to run away with the baimie just grip him 
with your teeth." 

The collie understood that her master's words 
had something to do with the child. She put 
her paws on his leg and, raising herself, stuck 
her cold nose in the baby's face, and caressed the 
chubby little cheeks with her tongue. 

" Look at her. Mistress Murray; she knows. 

Didn't I tell you? My word, she'll die for 

little Elsie. Aye, aye, an' I'm leavin' her behind. 

But she'll be in good hands. Mistress Murray." 

60 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

"It's a useless expense, Mr. Watson; a biir 
dog will eat as much meat as a man" 
»K-^''\1'"'' *^"""'' '"' ^'"'^^'^ " she said 

and they had got behind; all summer she had 
been trymg to catch up and get even with the 
wond. 

"Meat mistress!" Watson ejaculated in 
well.fe,gned astonishment-" porritch is the very 
thmg or coll.« Stracathna Princess-that-s 
her full name, Mistress Murray," Bob said very 
proudly—" just loves her porritch " 

Watson put the baby's legs astraddle the col- 
li« s back, and saying, " Come on, girlie," strode 
solemnly three times around the room sing- 
ing * 

" Ride I cock hone 
To Binbury Crow." 

Little Elsie's eyes, as big and bluer than her 
mothers, stared wonderingly into the broad, 
good-natured face of the Scotchman; and Prin- 
cess paced as proudly as though she were a pal- 
irey carrying a queen. 

Margaret, forgetting for a second her appre- 
hens.o„ o the ruinous expenditure, smiled in 
mother delight. 

"There, bonnie blue eyes," Bob said, lifting 
6i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

the child from the collie's back, " give doggie a 
kiss. Kiss the bairnie, girl." 

The baby drew her eyebrows together disap- 
provingly, but the collie imprinted a kiss after 
the manner of her kind. 

The mother took the child, and Watson pro- 
ceeded to explain just why Princess was the very 
best dog in the world. 

He detected an atmosphere of trouble for 
Murray ahead over parting with the money. 
The little woman's uncordial reception of her 
husband's announcement set Watson thinking 
very deeply. He' must square the matter for 
Jack by making the wife satisfied with the 
deal. 

" Jock has come by a grand bargain, Mis- 
tress," he said, throwing a touch of envy into his 
voice. 

" But we're needing every cent of his wages, 
Mr. Watson." It was out ; the little woman had 
let slip the words she was repeating over and 
over to herself. 

" Why, mistress, the collie's pups'll be worth 
more'n ten dollars." 

^^ "Ten dollars!" she exclaimed in horror. 
" And is Jack bringing pups, too — where are 
they? " 

Bob turned in confusion and whispered to 
62 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 
Murray. "Heaven, Jock. I n,ade a bad 

Then squaring the slip with a little equivoca- 
Z a ' "TT'^; " ^ ^" -"""in', mistress, 

Trefo"'?" '°" "" ''" °^ C"^'^' " 
"No, what are they?" 

h.J'P"'''" ^"f* *^'"' "°'"' ^'««« Murray, 
but they were dog»_gran' dogs, the fathers of 

P i„fe« • "2 '" ^"''^'"^- ^^ Stracathna 
Prmcess .s o- that strain-Jock knows that." 

The husband nodded his head complacently, 
though .t was entirely new informatioJ to him! 

tress M?r:a7?"'"^'°'J°'^'^ ^°™-- ^- 

WetS'it^.''"--^^-^'.^-! 

AVatson buried his face in the collie's neck. 

tres^M '^'"'" ^°" ""^ "'^" '" Scotland, Mis- 

coJ^rj- ^°" ^•=' ""'"■ '' "^ '"''" J*" JU't 
a common dog-not a collie-mind you, thev 

» „ Jy J . * " *''*y ""^ *'«'T plenty. So 

a good dog's name is a hoosehold word 

,fnl. .'' ^°""'"' "^^ ' «""' ™"i'= that was 

stden; an just among ousel's, Stracathna Prin- 

"ss « o' Johnnie Norman's blood. Murray 

63 



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fill 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

knowi that. He's a good judge o' a dog, ii Jock. 
No man'Il stick him wi' a bad one "; and Bob, 
stretching out his foot, surreptitiously pressed 
Jock's corns till he squirmed in agony. 

Murray blushed at his friend'n tribute so at 
variance with fact, but answered: " That's right 
wife." ' 

It was quite a conspiracy. 
" You could put her on the bench," Watson 
declared, turning to the husband. " She has all 
the points o' a prize winner. There's the finest 
head you ever saw on a collie; th- flat, wide 
skull that carries brain, tapering' like a lady's 
han' to her eyes. An' the long muzzle an' black 
nose are strong points. She has small ears, too 
— big ears would throw her oot." 

Watson stroked the really beautiful head as 
though he were a mother caressing a loved child. 
" Aye, girl, you're a beauty." 

"Tell me. Bob," queried Murray; "she's a 
queer color for a collie; and lier eyes are sort of 
like glass marbles." 

" A collie may be any color for the bench— it 
doesna' matter. The Princess is what they call 
' misled '; an' the ' wall-eyes ' always go with a 
mottled coat. But they must be slittcd in like 
a fox's. I'll tell you the points; you might want 
to enter her at the Kennel Show. She has a lonjr 
64 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

body and ribs well rounded up; an' the chest is 
jeep an narrow in front, but plenty o' room o'er 
the heart behind the shoulders." 

Watson was at home on the points of a good 
collie, and, once started, would talk all night on 
his favorite theme. And he continued about the 
straight fore legs and the well-bent hocks and 
long pasterns of the hind, the arched toes, the 
double coat-the outer hair coarse and the inner 
soft and furry— until Margaret regretted having 
expressed any objection. 

. " ^,',"n'l°T ''°" ^^"' *•" ''"«' «""«« in. mis- 
tress. Bob finally said; " the intelligence that's 
next to human. Just stay here, girl," he com- 
manded the collie. " I'll go out the back door- 
I see It's a latch-an' do you, Jock, say, ' Find 
Bob, an' you'll see what'U happen." 

Watson went out, and when Murray spoke the 
mystic words, the collie went to the door and 
struck the latch with her fore paw until it freed 
from the hasp. Then she wedged her thin nose 
in the crack, opened the door, and with a yelp of 
delight whisked about her master. 

Watson came in, his face radiant with smiles, 
saying: " You see, mistress, she'll be a companion 
to you when Murray's at work. Just learn her 
wi Find Jock,' an' if she once gets the scent of 
his steps, she'll bring him if he's in the town 
6S 



w 



llli 



II 



THIRTEEN MEN 

You could even go out and leave her wi* little 
feUie; ru guarantee nothing would touch the 
baimie." 

"She is wise," Mn. Murray admitted. 

Are you ture ihe'd not snap if baby pulled her 

hair— the little one's always clutching at things " 

" No, she'll not do that. An' now I must be 
gomg away home, for it's late." 

As Watson put on his hat, the collie sprone 
eagerly to die door, and stood waiting for him to 
open it. 

^^ " No, no, girlie," Bob said in a husJty voice, 
you re to stay he^ an' mind little Elsie. Up 
t.U I say good-by," and he snapped his fingen 
at his chin. " 

Princess put her paws on Watson's shoulders; 
he threw his arms around her arched neck, drew 
her head in against his rough cheek, and when 
he hfted her gently down there were tears in his 
eyes. 

" I'll walk to the comer with you, Bob," Mur- 
ray said, passing out. 

" \"'^^'' » »I'P. Jock," Watson said, as they 
parted. " It was over the puppies. If anything 
went wrong, an' I couldna send you die money* 
or you were ncedin' cash, just sell the puppies. 
Mick to the mither as long as you can, Jock— I'm 
feared I'll be very lanesome widiout h«-r " 
66 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 
Wation went away to Buffalo, and Stracathn. 

wl u °* ',!'^' " ''■y '■» « "'hole cycle of time 

I htpifd^eL^rr^r^^^^ "^' " '•'^ 

V ofcoune thatdaj). ' ^'"'"^ '■*^*""'- 

Wtime, a, she lay on the fro,.t doorstep 

Z „r *''V'°""» "d«- Whe. the restless 

„Tk ''"'' '"' "°« *° 'J-^ Plump-creased 
Sometimes the cold caress would brin^ forth 

67 



■<•' 



ii 



M 



II 



THIRTEEN MEN 

doJng the square thing," she kissed him apolo- 
getically, and said, " If we're very careful, we'll 
manage, I think, Jack." 

It was in the patrician collie blood of Stra- 
cathna Princess to guard and watch over some- 
thing. With her ancestors it had been sheep; so 
she literally interpreted her master's orders in the 
supervision of Elsie. 

The little one was taught to say, " Find papa, 
Prin," and Watson's game of find-your-master 
was played many times in the little family. 

Perhaps it was' the going away of Watson, 
who was convivial, or the walks Murray gave 
the collie that altered the man's life. He went 
less frequently to the Red Lion, and there was 
more money for Margaret and her primitive 
housekeeping. 

It was the fourth Saturday from the event of 
Princess that the household god of content was 
shattered. 

Murray returned from the carpet factory with 
sullen depression in his face. A strike had been 
declared, and, as he handed the bulk of his week's 
wage to Margaret, he said, " I fought against it, 
wifie, for winter's coming, and God knows we've 
not much to go on with." 

The little woman sat down and cried; she 
was brave enough, but her slender form was 
68 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

strung with fine nerves that sometimes went to 
pieces. 

The collie, feeling the unrest of something 
wrong, put her head compassionately in the dis- 
consolate woman's hand. 
^^ " She's friendin' you, girl," the husband said; 
she s saying to cheer up." 
For a week Murray sat about the house smok- 
«ng, or walked with the dog, and fought against 
the hypnotic influence the Red Lion thrust into 
nis hours of idleness. 

One morning four puppies squeaked and tum- 
bled foolishly over each other at their mother's 
side—a pair of little dogs, sable-and-white, and 
two females, "misled " like their mother. 

In SIX weeks the money was all gone; but that 
day Bob's ten dollars came. 

"You see, wifie," Murray said, "a man 
doesn't suffer by helping a friend. We wouldn't 
have had this money now only for the collie " 

Murray tried to get employment; but there 
were a dozen applicants for every place— some- 
times fifty; and a carpet weaver was not a desir- 
able man for general work. 

Bob's ten dollars lasted two weeks. Then 
hunger sat and jeered at them in the little rough- 
cast house. People rolled by in their carriages, 
fur-robed and red of cheek, and the laborer, de- 
«9 



M 



THIRTEEN MEN 

void of labor, cursed at the injustice of it all; 
and stroUed many times into the Red Lion, on 
chance of a casual glass with its fatal warmth 
for his chilled spirits. 

The day after the last dollar had gone, Mar- 
garet said to her husband, "Jack, there is no 
milk for Elsie, and there's very Httle bread for 
ourselves." 

" I'll have to sell one of the pups, wife," the 
husband answered; " Bob said I might if I was 
pmched, and it's a case of sell or starve." 

The pup was sold, and when Murray brought 
home five doUars he said: "This will carry us 
mto work, I diink, for they're all saying the 
strike is about over." 

Princess was showing the effect of short ra- 
tions, and Murray gave away the two females. 
They existed two weeks on the five dollars ob- 
tained for the little son of Princess; the man did 
—Margaret absolutely starved herself, furtively 
hiding this from Jack. She grew weaker, won- 
dermg if she could hold out till the time of work. 
Hunger-tried in the day when she was alone 
with the collie and Elsie, she indulged in costless 
epicurean feasts of fancy; the great juicy joint 
of beef she would have on the table when Jack 
was at work again. She held these wild revels 
m company with die collie; and Princess would 
70 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

Wink her wise wall-eyes, and swing her tail 
^Jd^ecauseonhe faint s.ileoS her ™i. 

Before the two weeks were up, Margaret 
fainted twice of exhaustion. It was the dayX 

Z ." \'! '!V^ ** P"P "'°"«'y go that Mar- 
garet tumbled for the second time, in a crum- 
pled heap on the floor; she was brought out of 
.nsens.bj^.ty by the sympathetic tongue of Prin 
cess on her face. 

been T '^'/? '"^°" ^''"*"""' """d it had 

When Murray came in in the evening he'" 
bought the same bitter tale of the unyielding 
master and obstinate men 

h.^"^T i^^"^ " *^ "''' ^«^"ily in a chair 
holdmg the child in her lap. 

cnJi -""r" ^'''' ""'^ ^''•^ '«' "hovelful of 
w'oVus^r^'J^^- ^^^o^'wHat-sto 

to ell the other pup-that's all there is to it 

on till now, but we can't starve " 

" We can't starve 1 " what mockeiy-she had 
been starving for days. 

Murray picked up the collie saying, " I won't 
71 



THIRTEEN MEN 

be morc'n fifteen minutes." Princess followed 
him to the door, and, as he stood for a second, 
looked yearningly at the pup in his arms. 

" It's rough on you, old girl," he said, " but it 
can't be helped." 

In ten minutes Murray leaned against the Red 
Lion bar, saying to the heavy-faced proprietor, 
" I've brought the pup you wanted." 
" One of Bob Watson's breed? " 
" Yes." 

" All right, here's your V. Have a drop on 
the head of it— we'll christen the youngster. By 
Jove! we'll name' him Christmas. Here's to 
you, Jack— Merry Christmas! " 

The florid man said nothing about the little 
starved woman at home; she didn't hear, any- 
way, so it didn't matter. 

Then the glasses were filled again at JaJc's 
order, lest the stigma of meanness should sminA 
the name of the man. 

"Merry Christmas, ha, ha I" some little 
devil in the clinking glasses had sneered the 
mocking laugh. 

Murray left the saloon, his hand grasping the 
crisp bill in his pocket; a comforting influence 
stole up his arm and threw his shoulders back. 
He had gone in shivering with cold; he issued 
with a warm glow at his heart— he forgot to 
72 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

button his coat. The cheery liquor enveloped 
thefivc dollars with the potentiality of fifty 

The sidewalk thronged with Christmas shop- 
pers, animated of countenance. 

A man touched Murray's shoulder, and a fa- 
miliar voice said: " Well, Jock I " 

"Bob Watson! God, man!" Then the two 
friends held hands for a minute in silence. 

I m just back from Buffalo to have Christ- 
mas with the collie-an' yourself, Jock, o' 
course." Watson said. " Come an' we'll have 
a drop for auld lang syne." 

Murray complied hesitatingly, objecting, " I 
must hurry back to the wife." 

"C<""«on.man— I'mgoin'withyou. We'll 
just have a smile first." 

Watson furnished the smile; and then— a man 
must be a man— Murray carried the ripple of 
hilarity along with another smile. And over the 
glasses with their loosening-up power, he told 
the whole story of his troubles. But Watson 
had saved money, and declared he would 
stand by the man who had loaned him his last 
dollar. 

Bob's eyes became jewels of delight He 
snuggled the pup under his chin; put it on the 
73 



•^i 



!il 



THIRTEEN MEN 

oak bar, and called them all to witness the glo. 
nous points of " Christmas." 
.. " Sable-and-white," he cried exultingly; 
man, alive! that's the Charlemagne cropping 
out— a grand strain indeed I " 

Murray leaned over and whispered in Wat- 
son's ear, " I wouldn't have sold him, Bob. if 
I could a-hclped it." 

" Tut, man I he's in good hands— the Prin- 
cess s enough for me. And, Mr. Nolan, we'll 
just trouble you to wet the feet o' little 
Christmas." 

Then Watson, as breeder of such a fine dog, 
felt called upon to do the honors of the occasion. 
A dozen times little Christmas was brought forth 
to be shown to the friends of Watson who 
dropped in. The proprietor had the price of the 
pup back in an hour. 

The liquor had laid its strong grasp upon 
Murray s half-starved physique, and subdued 
his consciousness of the flight of time. 

At first he repeated at intervals, " I must go, 
Bob ; now he drank in quiescent waiting on his 
friend's pleasure. 

Christmas Eve at the Red Lion; in the little 
rough-cast house it was this way: 

When Jack had gone, Margaret lighted a 
lamp and peered into the stove; die fire was 
74 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

almost burned out-and the Kuttic wa, empty. 
She placed Els.e upon a shawl beside the stove 
and opened the oven door. As the stored 

tTeThnd"'"'*^' *' ~"'' "'"''"'^ ^^"'" ''"'^^ 
Sitting down, the mother tried to rest, as she 

waited her husband's return. She couldn't 

Nerves are all-powerful just before they break; 

*ey dragged the weary woman to her feet, they 

paced her up and down the room. 

A half-hour went by-an hour. A gong in 

the htt e box of wheels on the shelf said it las 

e^ght o'clock Why did not Jack retumJome! 

thing must have happened him-he had been 

Kilied, run over? 

The jerky nerves drew fanciful pictures of dis- 
aster Elsie was sleeping nestled against the 
colhe's s.de, but the room was getting cold-tt 
fire had gone out; she put the little one in her 
cot As Margaret rose from the chair, she stag- 
gered; and as she stooped to lift the child, glim- 
mcnng lights, violet and blue-green, blinded her 
-she was choking. Then, with a call of " Jack " 
the little woman pitched forward, the collie's 
body breaking her fall. 

The frightened child set up a wail; and Prin- 
cess, crawling from beneath her mistress, stood 
trying to puzzle out the extraordinary happen- 
6 75 



I 



If 



I' 



THIRTEEN MEN 

ing. Why did her mistress lie there without 
speaking? The child's wail stirred her heart 
with i! lonesome feeling. 

The collie stepped forward and peered into 
Margaret's face, then caressed it; she lifted her 
paw and tapped the woman's shoulder plead- 

ingly — there was no response. 

Subtle instinct rr'd Princess that her mistress 

was rll; and he- little playmate, Elsie, was in 

trouble because :-.e cried— just like her own pups 

used to. 

Her brain, that was only a wise dog's brain, 
worked confusedly at the disturbing tangle- it 
needed a lead in the right direction from ihe 
hner-workmg mechanism of a human mind. 

There was an air of unrest over the room, such 
as comes before a storm— the child's plaintive 
cry vibrated her sympathy. It made her restless ; 
she wanted somcthing-her pups or her master, 
or even if the mistress would but speak She 
wandered about the room, sniffing at the nooks 
into which her puppies used to crawl. A pair of 
Murray's boots with the man's scent started a 
clear thought— her master and her pup had gone 
away together. And in the room was but the 
child's wail; Princes, felt a desire to howl in 
sympathy. She trotted back to the pathetic 
group on the floor, her nails clicking the boards 
76 



r; ! 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

and shoving the coHie'. h^,A . *' 

"Find papa 1>IT^"" ''"'' "^"y- »'»«= "id. 

P icd-croMcd and recrossed as they had 
77 



Ill 



^ 



THIRTEEN MEN 

been by others; on, taking her wonderful way to 
the door of the Red Lion. 

Her thrill collie bark carried to Watron'i ear. 

"God, man!" he cried, "I'll take 
m' oath " 

He darted to the door; as he flung it open, 
Princess sprang against him with a whine of 
delight. Then she raced to Murray, in whose 
hands was little " Christmas." 

" She's followed the pup," Jack said, as the 
mother smothered the little chap's face in her 
caresses. 

Then Princess raced to the door, uttering a 
sharp calling bark; then again to the pup, giving 
it a hurried kiss; and once more to the door. 

Watson watched the collie's erratic move- 
ments with intense interest. Suddenly he said, 
" Jock, she's been sent for you ; there's something 
wrong, I fear — come away, man 1 " 

Watson's words steadied Murray's senses that 
were swaying because of the liquor. Without a 
word he pushed through the door, and the two 
men almost ran; dread and the cold night air 
mastering the liquor fumes. 

As they swung up the path, the little house 
was quiet — there was a light. As Murray stood 
for a second in the doorway, Elsie held up her 
hands, crying in delight, " Papa 1 " 
78 



THE "MISLED" COLLIE 

Murray lifted the sensclen form of hit wife 
to the bed, saying, " Quick, Bob, the doctor— 
the red light on the comer." 

Margaret lay like one dead. The husband 
put his hand over her heart; it took a length of 
time to detect the weak flutter. He chafed her 
hands, crying in an anguish of remorse, " Mar- 
garet, girl, tvake uj^— oh, my God! " 

Elsie was crying on the floor. He put her 
in her cot, and reproached himself with strong 
words, "Woe to me; I'll never drink a drop 
again— I've killed the little woman." 
Then the doctor and Bob came hurrying in. 
She'll be all right," the doctor said, after a 
little. " It's lucky you caught me in, though— 
she's so weak that a half-hour might have made 
ail the difference." 

" The collie was just in time, Jock," Watson 
whispered to Murray, as the doctor sat by the 
bed. 



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THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

ACKERLY was an inspector of police in 
Burma. That was at Thayetmyo. 
He was tall and square and round- 
cheeked — a splendid specimen ; just the sort of 
man to throttle men who needed it. 

" Not an ounce of sentiment in his gladiator 
head," some one said. That was what they 
thought; in point of fact his great muscles were 
wrapped up in sentiment. That was why Mys- 
tery held up her cloak, and threw a shadow across 
his path. 

If the Gomez girl had been beautiful, or even 
pleasing, the thing that happened might have 
been put down to the irresponsibility of a full- 
blooded youthfulness; but the Gomez was short 
and squat and broad-featured and black. She 
was " twelve anas in " of Hindoo blood, and 
not an ana of it had lost any of its darkness. 

There was nothing to account for Ackerly's 
infatuation — absolutely nothing — except her 
playing. That was the one thing she could do 
— ^play the violin. 

80 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

When I say she could, I must stop and think 
what a man who knew aU about those things 
once said: "It is not this woman who plays- 
some spmt comes and uses her hand^-that is 
all." It was like that, too. 

The violin, a gentle-walled Cremona, had 
been m the Gomez family since the time of Pie- 
tro, Marie's great-grandfather, who played like 
an angel, tradition said. And all these years the 
spirit had lain asleep until Marie's fat hands 
had cried it into wakefuhiess. 

Of course she had learned the thing. A sister 
was married to an engineer in a rice mill, and 
his money had been used freely to teach her the 
workmanship of the arts. That was in Calcutta 
— she had been sent there. 

This in itself was a mere bagatelle, the tuition 
she received, as compared with the spirit that 
used her hands. It was only the knowledge of 
perspective an Angelo might use for one of his 
masterpieces. 

Tall, broad-shouldered young men are fairish 
marks on the matrimonial rifle ranges; and Ack- 
erly had been brought down by about as sweet a 
girl as anyone could very well wish for. That 
was before he went to Thayetmyo; and it made 
the infatuation all the more like a piece of the 
evil goddess Kali's work. 
8i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

I have said that the Gomez's one accomplish- 
ment was the violin-but she had another. She 

that thnlled through the vibrating strings of the 
sobbmg viohn out to master the minds of 
animals. 

The first time Ackerly saw her was at her 
father s place. Old Gomez had asked him down 
to see Mane make a king cobra dance; that was 
^e way he put .t. But then old Gomez had no 
soul for anythmg beyond the fleshpots of a rich 
son-m-law; and so knew nothing about the ter- 
nble power that came from the talking strings 
A hamadryas iS a king cobra; as vicious and 
as deadly as the capello, and as strong as a boa. 
But as Mane Gomez drew the bow across the 
strings of her violin in wailing tones, the king 
cobra was hke a slim, silken ribbon, for the spell 
of the spirit numbed his vicious mind. 

" It's extraordinary," Ackerly thought, as he 
sat and watched, and listened to the spirits in the 
violin calling to the king cobra. And " Boh "— 
that was the cobra's name^nderstood them 

When Marie ceased playing the cobra dropped 
fuU length on the hard, beaten ground, a seiVant 
threw a basket down, and he glided in 

As the Gomez raised her eyes, Ackerly looked 
82 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 
into them. He should not have done that, for 
he s^hing of the spirit, in the music had gone 
.nto h.s muscles, and he was ready for the h^™ 
that was to come. He tried to reLmbfr\vt" 

fa«d^mCh.tt.Ko„g once. The leopard had eyes 

After this there was no rest for Ackerly; nor 
for he matter of that, for his friends. Friend; 

tho..ri <^ ''''" *'y "'■'^ "^e ^" doing 
^hough the Gome^ was hardly as bad as tia? 
All the same ,t wasn't the proper thing-no eZd 
could come of it. He couldn't lift hef up to w"k 

there d be sorrow all over the place. That was 
the way the friends figured it ot .nd they hid 

r„? 'm' P""'^^"^^ - *- «■- of the art 
ment No white man had ever done it yet- SI 
man had always been dragged down t<^ the ield 
of the other. The friends looked at it from 
reasonable, fair-to-all point of view Th^T^a 
because the spirits in the fiddle hadn't taTed t" 

Ackerly .knew that all they were saying was 

W they talked to him he said they were 
83 



THIRTEEN MEN 

right; he was no end of an ass, and the girl was 
as black as his hat — the hat he wore in England. 
He admitted it all, and cursed the whole Gomez 
family for a lot of " thugs." 

But when the spirits that were in the girl sent 
their voices down through the tamarind trees that 
stood thick between the two bungalows, calling 
to him on the wailing violin, he rose, and went 
and sat where he could look into the eyes that 
made the cobra droop his head. " Devil's eyes " 
she had, the friends said; but they haunted Ack- 
erly day and night. They weren't evil, he 
thought; but that they would work evil for him 
he knew, just as surely as any of the others. 

And when he had come, the short, squat figure 
would huddle itself close beside him. And the 
music would talk to him of love and rest, and 
the sighing of the violin was th-; sighing of 
angels, and the sobbing, the crying of wrecked 
hopes ; and the full notes were a godlike majesty, 
and the low, soft plaint the whispering of the 
winds in the gossamer leaves of the tamarind. 

Nobody, not even the Gomez, knew about 
this, the only bit of truth there was in the whole 
thing. She thought it was for herself that the 
strong-limbed inspector of police came — because 
he loved her. Had not her sister, who was 
also fat, married a sahib ; a sahib who drew six 
84 



liil 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

they were iealou,.Vj. ^* '^" ''«'»«« 

hurrying hi.seff u^der L "fl te on™"""' 
«h«t out the barrenness of bel^b/r '""' '" 

bei^te%tf d"'r- '^^ ^'^'^-''- "oo. "I 
oeiieve that devil is jealous " Art.-i . 

to the Gomez girl '• c" ' .h, ''^ ?"" "''* 
at me." ''" **"« ^''X he looks 

"Oh, he won't harm youl " reoIie-J f,;. 
panion ; " he like« th^ ^ ■ . *^ '^ "is com- 
J- , lie iiKes the music, that s all T<^ i * n 

h.. ^ go. vein your bung;iow.h\tllgoV'" 

cwS'^"^.t.dr„.r ''''^" «- 

I should kill him." ""«'" •"'• *»• «=!''« 

The squat figure laughed a little, and made 
8j 



■ ilk 



THIRTEEN MEN 

a pass at the cobra with her fiddle bow. He 
raised his head slightly, blew out his hood, and 
then glided off among the silk leaves of the 
plantain trees. 

" I'll send him to your bungalow to-morrow," 
she said, " to guard it, lest some other girl comes 
and steals you away from me." 

"If you do, I'll shoot him," replied her com- 
panion, looking at her widi a grave, determined 
face. 

She pulled the bow across the strings of the 
violin that lay upon her knee; and the note cut 
through him like a knife. Yes, it was some one 
dying, that was the cry that came up from the 
strings. 

"You sec," she said, looking into his face 
with those strangely lighted eyes, the leopard 
eyes, " if you kill ' Boh,' you kill me." 

" You must not say such a silly thing as that," 
he answered angrily; "it's only a cobra, .nd 
should be killed." 

" No," she said, and the violin was wailing 
again, as the bow touched it tremblingly, " if 
you kill him I shall die. I can't tell you about 
it, but that is so." 

And then the violin wailed and moaned, and 
the cadences of the dirge rose and fell, ,ust like 
the wind sighing through the gaunt cassarina 
86 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

trees, with their harp bows, which grew down on 
the salt-sea shore where Ackerly's white girl 
lived. She let the hand that held the bow sud- 
denly stop and lie across his wrist, as she said: 
And if anything were to happen to you, it 
would be the same, too, I should die." 

The hand scorched his wrist, and her voice, 
which was only the continuation of the plaint 
that had come from the violin, seared his ears, 
and lay hot against his soul. It was an accursed 
thing this; even if she were to die, or the whole 
family were to die, he couldn't wreck everything 
—his own life, the lift of the girl who lived 
down where the cassarinas grew, and his mother's 
life. That was all so ; but strong as these things 
were, they were not so strong as the other, the 
voices that spoke to him from the fat hands of 
the Gomez, and told him to come night after 
night, and sit where the big, black eyes might 
look into his. 

The next day Ackerly heard a soft rustle in 
the comer of his bedroom. It was " Boh." 

When the inspector saw him he swore like a 
proper soldier. That was because the sound of 
the violin was not in his ears, and he was more 
or less in his right senses. 
^^ He took his police sword down, exclaiming: 
I II not stand your infernal nonsense, anyway 
87 



t' 



THIRTEEN MEN 

If. bad enough to play the goat with a Portu- 
g«e.e ha f-ca.te. but when it lom.s to klZT, 
".enagenc if. too n,uch of a good thing "' * 

The cobra looked at him sleepily; he felt .ure 
that nothing would happen to him. 

Ackerly took two steps toward " Boh " then 
stopped. "Hang ,he thingl " he sar": "£ 

there d be no end of a row over it. He's lust 

^!Tr '•?r""' ' ''"'''■" So He puti 

"Boh-T/"^ ?'r " «"''^'' « *he cobra. 

Boh dodged the little round fruit, and glided 

Ackerly thought of what the Gomez had said 

true to her. There's no danger of that " he 
cxcla.med angrily; " if anyone blacker or u'glie 

rou see, he used to score himself heavily when 

^atuat,on, as a man reviles liquor when he is 

^nl^°K ^'u"^ '''"'' ""'^ 'P^'d »^» hood in 
JSanl" .' '^°^' °' *^ ^-" « ^-g 



black and ugly. 

Ho?". "" u' ^^^'J' «°* " '^"'^ from the girl 

down by the sea-the white one. There wa 

none of the weird music of the fiddle in it; „oT 

88 



the girl 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

Nice chum you've ont " - l 

»..rd Boh, ..h.p„„^.,k.i„,„„^,^ J 
?J„ f '«•■"' *i"8 know. U., ;l „„ ^^^^ 

Wave a cheroot, Green," said Ackerlv h. 'W 
h.s agar case toward the newcomer ' ^ '^■ 

someot7pTacXo°.'^".r '""^^^^^ ^^ 
89 



THIRTEEN MEN 



k 



n 



out where there's a good healthy icourge of 
cholera on, I'd have you sent there," he added, 
looking indulgently at the inspector. 

" Look here," exclaimed Ackerly, shifting in 
his chair, " you fellows are bothering your heads 
confoundedly about me. Leave me alone. I'm 
all right." 

"So was Sanbum," said Green — "and he 
shot himself at the finish. ' Chee-chee ' love is 
hell, that's what it is, my young friend." 

" Well," answ -ed Ackerly, " when the order 
comes I won't budge. I'm not a griffin just out 
from home, to be ordered about the country by 
a lot of paternal cusses who have gone through 
the whole thing themselves, and are sick of it." 

" What'U you do? " asked his friend laconic- 
ally. 

" I'll cut the forre first — go into something 
else, where I'll have a little say in my own affairs. 
I'd like to be my own master for a minute, just 
to see how it feels." 

" You'll never be that if you stay here," as- 
serted Green decisively. 

" Here, have a peg, and shut up," br^ke in the 
inspector. " I'm sick of the whole business — 
sick of you fellows lecturing me as though I were 
worth bothering about. Besides, Green " — and 
he reached over and laid his hand on his friend's 
90 



THE INFATUATION OP ACKERLY 

, wasn t a talking man AI«n f — . 

know it i/Tt, ?!" f "" "■'"« " I'M you 

y,t „ '^ """^ '^> I « pull you out of the mire 

^nff^ S"*'"''^ incredulously. "You„ , 

(Clerks) and your mudcoated villagers, but 
^ 91 



THIRTEEN MEN 

when it comes to playing against the Gomez, 
she'll beat you out. You remember the Hindoo 
fakir who came here one day and sent a boy up 
a string into the air, and we never saw him 
again ? " 

" Yes, I remember," said Green, listlessly. 

" Well, with all your codes of procedure, and 
your books on how to do this and how to do that, 
you couldn't accniint for it, could you ? " 

" No," answered the deputy absent-mindedly, 
wondering what it had to do with the thing in 
hand. 

" Nor could you bring the boy back again. 
No, of course you couldn't. Neither can you 
tell anything about the power this woman uses to 
send me up a string, if you like. Neither can 
you bring me back again. That's because your 
logic is of the West, where you've got to get at 
the cubical contents of the thing before you can 
do anything with it. You've got to measure it, 
and weigh it, and pound it up, and assay it — and 
then write out a sort of formula about the thing. 

" But this other problem you can't understand, 
because it's of the East; but it's as simple to these 
close-to-nature beings as your mathematical rot 
is to you. There, I have spoken. Drink your 
peg, and let's gallop down to the polo grounds 
—that's healthier. And also if I ride hard per- 
92 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

haps I'll break my stupid neck, and it'll save you 
meddlesome grannies a lot of worry." 

As they went out they saw " Boh " lying under 
the veranda, his wicked eyes gleaming like two 
blood-streaked diamonds. 

" Did the woman give him to you? " asked 
Green, nodding his head sideways toward the 
cobra; " or did she send him here to keep your 
mmd fixed on her? You're the bird, and he's 
to keep up the fascination, I suppose." 
^^ " I don't know," answered Ackerly carelessly; 
he himed up to-day— that's all I know about 
It. But It wasn't ; he knew the violin player had 
sent him — he could feel it. 

" He's really not a cobra at all," remarked the 
deputy. " In the books on snakes he goes under 
another name. I forget what it is—' devil ' for 
choice, I should say." 

They played polo, and nobody's neck was 
broken, not even Ackerly's. After dinner Green 
called at the policeman's bungalow to lug him 
off to the club. " I must amuse this strange ani- 
mal," he thought as he went up the steps, " until 
I break her hold on him." 

But Ackerly was gone. " He's over there," 

muttered the deputy, nodding in the direction 

from which came dreamy, sensuous music. " I'll 

go and take part in that seance^ he told himself. 

93 



THIRTEEN MEN 






"If there are two of us, it will split up the blessed 
thing, perhaps." 

He found the inspector sitting beside the black 
Gomez. Of course she was playing to him, just 
as she had been to the cobra diat night. It made 
Green angry; his anger silenced him. He said 
" Good evening " sullenly as he came up to 
them. 

Ackerly looked up good-naturedly, and 
pointed toward a big chair. " I suppose you 
want me. I'll come with you in a minute. Sit 
down," he said. He nodded toward Marie, and 
ejaculated " Play 1 " for she had stopped. 

As Marie played, the deputy's anger slipped 
away from him. He tried to think of why he 
had come — tried to remember why he was angry. 
But the melody was of green fields and sunshine, 
and water splashing over the rocks, and of birds; 
and nothing else there — nothing only love. It 
was the song of a love dream. 

He sat a long time watching the fat hands 
caressing the spirit-voiced violin, and wondering 
why he had been angry at all — why the thing 
was wrong. 

When she ceased playing, and there was only 

the squat, dark-faced figure bulging misshapenly 

in the white muslin dress, he thought of the un- 

holiness of it all. Surely it was something to un- 

94 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

fJl ^*""7'°"K' °^<^ -^hap," he said rudely, get- 
ting up and putting his hand on Aclcerly's shoul- 
der; we promised to meet the colonel at die 

about .t. That was an impromptu lie, but 
Green knew he'd never do penance for it. The 
fair ha.red boy beside him was worth a great 
deal more than that, if he could bring him back 
to his senses. 

. J'°°",'' ^"'f *"'" """"""ded Ackerly, as they 
swung along the hard road togeAer. " Youvl 
seen what you've seen, and you're going to do 
something; but don't preach-it's no good." 

That was why Green said never a word for 
days to his friend about the Gomez; but stuck 
close to him until the inspector began to almost 
hate the sight of his face. 

freS'" vl ^°"'°""'^,^'^'y f"«"dly," he said 
trettul y, I m sure you're neglecting your vil- 
agen, looking after me." That was beLse the 
influence wasn't good for his nerves, and he was 
getting irntable. Green wasn't trying to cure 
him that way; he was only holding him in check 
until the coup d'e,at he had planned should come 

He had worked out the saving of Ackerly 
95 



THIRTEEN MEN 



% 



■m 



Mi 



with his wife. " A woman is worth a dozen men 
in a case of this kind," he said to himself. To 
her he said : " I want you to help me a little. 
Ackerly is in a bad way; something has got to be 
done pretty quick. If they trap him with a mar- 
riage it -vill be too late. 

" I've written to have him transferred as far 
as they can send him. The correspondence is 
only just nicely under way as yet, and I have 
received fourteen communications from three 
different departments about the matter. And it 
appears that I have nearly ruined the man's 
character as an officer; also considerably dam- 
aged my own as a man of sense, I think. 

" They want me to specify my charges against 
him. Has he been looting? or taking bribes? 
Is it drink? has he been hanging the natives 
about? or is he simply inefficient? One depart- 
ment intimates that he is not supposed to take 
orders from me; and if he has been insubordi- 
nate, it serves me right. 

" At any rate, they are not paying traveling 
allowance for officials from one eud of Burma 
to the other, simply because somebody wishes 
somebody else shifted, they say. 

" That's only a part of it," he continued de- 
spairingly. " One man who seems to have got 
an inkling of what's in the wind — inkling! 
96 



t i 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

Great Cisar I I thought I had put it as plain as 
I dared— writes that the Government is not a 
maternal institution, looking after harebrained 
youngsters, and keeping them out of matrimonial 
entanglements. I should say they weren't; but 
they'd weed him out quick enough if he married 
the Gomez." 

" Well, Jack," said Mrs. Green, " you've got 
to send for the other one; that's the only way. 
She'll come quick enough, too. She loves this 
soft-headed youngster, and she's got sense 
enough to lift him out of this business." 

That was the coup d'etat that Green was hold- 
ing Ackerly in check for. 

Ackerly was leading a haunted life. Green 
stuck to him with a feverish intentness. " I must 
hold this young ass till Jess comes," he thought 
" Jess " was the girl. 

On the other side " Boh " had nested in the 
mspector's house; and often when he fancied he 
was breaking awSy from the speU a little, the 
devil eyes of die cobra would peer at him from 
some hole, and he could feel that the Gomez saw 
him, and was reproaching him. 

Of course, he went many times over to the 
other bungalow. Sometimes the violin called to 
him down through the tamarinds; sometimes the 
dark eyes beckoned to him out of the night. 
97 



THIRTEEN MEN 



Then one day Jess came. She stopped with 
the Greens, as had been arranged. They took 
Ackerly in hand with a proprietary right, but 
with much diplomatic gentleness; that was Mrs. 
Green's doing. 

The Gomez knew the other had come, and 
why. She talked to her violin, and it wailed 
back; and the big, eloomy eyes looked at " Boh," 
and he, too, knew. It was all the doing of the 
spirits that worked through the fat hands which 
caressed the strings of the throbbing violin. 

" How is it going. Jack? " Mrs. Green aoked 
her husband. " Does he go there now ? " That 
was two or three days after Jess had come. 

" I think not," replied Green. " Looks as 
though it's broken up." 

He was right in a way. Ackerly had not gone 
to the Gomez s ''tice Jess came; but it was not 
broken up — not by a great deal. The young fel- 
low was only torturing his soul that he might be 
a man for three or four days. He talked to Jess 
in the evening, and then went to his own bunga- 
low, and the sobbing violin carried its talc of 
anguish to him through the heavy, Burmese 
night. 

" Boh " only knew what the violin cried; that 
for three nights his mistress Marie had sat with 
scorched eyes and low-droof ed head. 
98 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 
The fourth night from the coming of Jew 

the latter 8 bungalow. Je« had gone to bed, and 
Green had kept hi, friend there long into tEe 

"Have you seen ' Boh ' about here lately? " 
asked Ackerly, trying to speak carelessly. " He's 

£-th°a"t^" "' ^""«'"°"' """^ ^ ^" ""^"'d 

tJ^^k'??*""" '"'^ whispered to him about 

£iniiss;r"'^^"--'^^^-^^-- 

frol^"' k"* ^''f ""'*' "^''y *° ~'"« o'^" here 
from my bungalow; I wish you'd keep an eye 
open for h.m, and if he bothers club him away " 

h J ", ?"^ *°"«''* °^ ^''" ^«'«ri« Gomez 

fall '. ' "'"?"» " ^"'^ " *° P^'^'nt his 
falling m love with any other girl. What if 

there was anything i„ that, and " Boh " should 
revenge his mistress on Jess. 

He was still in this train of thought when he 

was start led by Jack's wife gliding toward them 

with a fright-blanched face ^"^ tnem 

" Jess 1 " she gasped. " The cobra I " 

Ackerlyfa,ew;his thoughts had just been of it. 

1 . y^"'- u .'"' ^°"'" t^«Ive-boreI " he ciacu- 

lated widi subdued earnestness. Green handed 

him his shotgun, and they hurried to Jess's apart- 

99 



THIRTEEN MEN 



# 



ment. Ackerly knew exactly what he thould 
find; he knew just what " Boh " would do. 

At the door he stopped. On the dressing 
table a lamp was burning, and by its light he 
saw " Boh's " flat, arched head, with the wicked, 
gleaming eyes, erect and motionless, not two feet 
from Jess's face; the body of the cobra was 
coiled up on her breast. Jess was awake; her 
eyes moved, but for that she was perfectly mo- 
tionless. ' 

" Don't be frightened, little woman," he said 
tenderly; "I am going to shoot, but don't 
move." 

Then without raising the gun, for he saw the 
evil in the cobra's eyes, he fired point-blank from 
his hip. The report was terrific in the closed 
room, and the heavy pall of the sulphurous 
smoke shut out the sight of everything. 

He sprang forward, and his strong arm swept 
the girl, covers and all from the bed. There was 
really no hurry, for " Boh " was stone-dead, his 
ugly head shot to pieces. 

Green had never arranged for that act in his 
coup d'etat. 

Whether it was the death of " Boh " or not 
I am not prepared to say; but the mystery and 
power had passed away from the Gomez from 
that time. 

lOO 



THE INFATUATION OF ACKERLY 

Marie didn't die physically as she had said she 
would with the death of " Boh," but the other, 
the greater, died. The spirits caUed no more to 
Ackerly from the strings of her violin. 



lOI 



1 



THE STEALING OF THE BUDDHA 
PEARL 

WHEN a man is rich he joins the looth 
Hussars — if he can; when he loses 
his money he retires — he must. 
That's what Hadley did — both. It was in 
Rangoon. 

An officer out of service is about as useful as 
a bronze Buddha in Covent Garden; and the 
more Hadley thought of things he might do, 
the oftener he came back to the predominant 
idea of a popular crossing to sweep, somewhere 
in London. 

Then rose up Balthazar, the Armenian, and 
started him in the pearl-fishing. Balthazar was 
an individual who had momentum and much 
money. Hadley had brains and honor — there 
you are. 

MacAUister, of Singapore, furnished a 
stanch craft of seventy tons, the Ruby; also 
good "Hinks"' air pumps. Balthazar sent 
I^hbo, son of Mah Thu, who lived in Mergui, 
with Hadley. Lahbo was coach — Hadley would 
soon learn, the Armenian said. 

102 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

All the pearl fisher, went to Mergui, in Bur- 
ma, for their pump boats and crews. Hadlev 
hired three boats with crews from Ragath,: for 
iix hundred rupee, per month. For each boat 
he hired a diver: Angelo, Pietro, and Lahbo. 

m all the Mergu. Archipelago. If other divers 
got thirty shells in a day, Angelo got fifty, when 
they brought none, he still found a few Pa 
raly.i. never came near him, though he "dived 
deeper than any of them-worked farther out 
m the deep water where the best shells were. 
When the other divers strove for his secret. An- 
gelo showed his white Spanish teeth in a laugh, 
and said it was the medicine he rubbed on that 
kept h,m from the divers' devil, the paralysis. 

Hadley s allotted station was off Pawa Island 
— Pawa, where the great waterfall tumbles 
sheer over die rock-cliffed shore into the sea. It 
was good fishing there, and each evening wh:n 
the boats pulled alongside the Ruby her decks 
g istened with the gray-green shells, big as soup 
plates, that were thrown over the rail. There 
were pearls in some of them, too; sometimes 
loose, like a cherry in the jelly; sometimes grown 
in the shell, like a fly in the amber. 

Perhaps it was trying to keep up with Angelo 
that caused Lahbo to be laid by the heels by the 
103 



THIRTEEN MEN 

dreaded paralytii. The second week cf the fish- 
ing he came up unconKious, and when he opened 
his eyes again he was paralyzed. Hadley did 
not turn him off like a broken-down horse, 
but nursed him. " Hanged if I'll send him off 
there to live on betel nut," he said. " He's 
come to it working for me, and I'll see him 
through." 

That was Hadley's way. So he fed him gen- 
erously, and doctored him intelligently, and paid 
him with a Quixotic fairness. And when Lahbo 
went back to Mergui at the end of the season 
he told Mah Thu that Hadley Thakine was as 
good as a Buddhist. 

Then the mother went and smoked her che- 
root on the veranda of Hadley, the pearl-mas- 
ter's bungalow. The little eyes, like cheap 
yellow beads set deep in the heavy Burmese face, 
watched the white man furtively as he came and 
went. When the eyes were satisfied, she told 
him her secret — of the Buddha Pe? 'l. That was 
because he had been good to Lahbo. Years 
before, a Buddhist priest, Crotha, who was fa- 
vored of Buddha, wanted to build a pagoda on 
Pawa. So he carved little images of Buddha 
from the alabaster, and put them in young 
oysters. These he put back in the sea near to 
Pawa. " The oysters will cover the Buddhas 
104 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

He invoked a curse on any who ihould come 
by he pearls dishonestly, and put a .acred mark 
on the sheHs so that they might be known. 

When Crotha thought the pearls h,d been 

tZLJ: ""'^^''»'-. who was Mah 
Ihus husband, to dive for them. 

"> the hght of an .mpostor; and when the bia 
pear oysters with the marks were fished up he 
gently strove to sequester them for the use' o 
h.s own church. Nobody ever quite knew ju. 
what happened on the boat, for th.v were all 
k."ed m the row that ensued. Even C^th " 
who was with them, was killed. ' 

Mah Thu knew the spot. Outside from 

Reef, fifty boat lengths beyond this, sailing 
south unt.l the great waterfall is opposite th! 
first .ron dog-that was the spot. Mah Thu' 

I must keep Angelo for this work, he thought. 
bo when Angelo's money was all swallowed up 
in gm and religion, and little side issues, he ad- 
105 



THIRTEEN MEN 



vanced him more to live on; that was against 
the next seaeon's work. Lahbo would be fit to 
work again also, the doctor said. 

When Hadley went out next season, Mah 
Thu went with him to show the place where the 
great pearls were. 

Beyond the Iron Dog Reef Hadley anchored 
the Ruby, and the divers worked back and 
forth. 

It was Lahbo found the teakwood ribs of 
Crotha's boat sticking up out of the sand, quite 
half a mile from the Ruby. It was in twenty- 
five fathoms, and the pressure was great. 
Lahbo had been so long under water that his 
tender signaled him to come up. 

At last he came, with eight shells in his bag. 
As he reeled in the bottom of the boat, faint 
and giddy, one of the boatmen gave a queer 
cry of awe. Lahbo looked at him drunkenly; 
in the sailor's hand was a shell with the sacred 
mark of a pagoda on it. 

" Loud-voiced fool I " said the diver, " throw 
it with the others." Then he swayed like a 
broken shutter, for he was half-paralyzed by the 
terrible pressure, and fell in a heap close to the 
shells. 

" The sun will kill him, oh, you brothers of 
oxen I Put up on this side the canvas that he 
1 06 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

may have shade!" exclaimed Ncyoung, the 
tender. 

And to make hot water for the stricken man 
he built a fire on the small clay fireplace just in 
the stem. When the fire was burning strong, 
and the canvas had shut off the boatmen so that 
they could not see, Lahbo clutched his mate by 
the arm and pointed to the fire and the marked 
shell. All the weariness of the paralysis had 
gone; there was only a mu-derous look of cu- 
pidity in the oblique eyes of the diver. The ten- 
der understood. He shoved the little iron tongs 
that were used for the charcoal in the fire, and 
showed his pawn-blackened teeth in a grin of 
appreciation. Soon the tongs were red hot; 
Lahbo had taken a cork from the pocket of his 
short white jacket. 

Then Neyoung put the hot iron close to the 
hinge of the gigantic shell and slowly the 
saucerlike lids opened. The cork was shoved 
in to keep them in that position, and Lahbo ex- 
plored the inside with a sliver. 

The boatmen heard a sharp cry from behind 
the canvas. " Lahbo is in pain," they said. 

" It's a pearl from the gods," hoarsely whis- 
pered Lahbo to Neyoung, as he held in his hand 
something he had gently roUed out with the 
bamboo sliver. 

* 107 



THIRTEEN MEN 



f 



Then they used the hot iron again, and the 
cork was taken out; the lids closed, and the 
hinge was made wet, and the oyster was tossed 
back among the others, and only the great pearl, 
large as a man's thumb, nestled in the trembling 
hand of Lahbo. The yellow in his eyes was 
streaked with blood-red pencilings. Surely the 
pressure had driven all the blood to his brain 
— it was on fire. , He strove to clutch at his 
throat — he was choking; his hand refused to 
obey; a deathly numbness was creeping up the 
arm. The pearl clasped in the palm of his hand 
was ice; it was freezing the blood, and all the 
time his brain was on fire — the smoke was 
smothering him. 

He tried to call out; the muscles of his 
tongue had been cut; it lay like an idle thing 
in his mouth. Then slowly, inch by inch, the 
freezing crept up his arm, pricking and sting- 
ing like a thousand points. He tried to grasp 
it with the other hand — to shake it into life 
again; it, too, was utterly powerless. 

Then he knew. 

Back across the shells he drooped, his eyes, 
with the red-streaked yellow, the only thing of 
life now left in his stiffening body. 

Neyoung, the tender, also knew; and his 
black eyes glistened with a new light. With a 
io8 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

wrench he tore open the stiffening fingers 
which clasped the pearl and slipped it in his 
mouth. 

He knelt down and shoved his long yellow 
arm among the pots and things stored in the end 
of ^he boat. He found what he was searching 
for-a ball of black pitch. Making a hole 
with his thumb, he shoved the pearl in, smoothed 
down tht pitch, and threw it carelessly back 
where it had lain before. 

Then he called: "Ho, brothers! Lahbo is 
dead, and threw the canvas down. 

They rushed aft and looked at Lahbo; the 
eyes of the paralyzed thief looked back at them, 
and they knew he wasn't dead-H)nly hi. mus- 
cles strangled by the evil spirits. 

Then they seized the oars and pulled for the 
Ruby, for the wind was dead and the sea flat 
as the blue sky above them. 

Mah Thu leaned over the brass-studded rail 
her wrinkled face looking like yellow parchment 
on the mirror water, as she watched them carry 
Lahbo up the little ladder and lay him on the 
deck. She took his poor, useless head in her 
lap, and Hadley watched the big pearl shells 
brought up. He was passing them through his 
hands when he suddenly stopped and held one 
out toward Mah Thu. 

109 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"That is one of then, O Thakine," she 
exclaimed. 

Lahbo's eyes tried to say something, but they 
did not understand. Mah Thu thought he was 
in pain, and rocked her poor bent old body back 
and forth in anguish. 

Hadley brought his little tub close to Mah 
Thu and opened the marked oyster. There was 
nothing in it — no pearl. 

" The evil spirits have stolen it 1 " cried the 
woman. 

Again the eyes that were in the dead body of 
the paralyzed diver tried to say something, but 
nobody understood him — nobody only Ne- 
young. He knew, and he muttered to himself : 
" I must send Lahbo away to Nirvana, or those 
devil eyes will tell that I have the pearl." 

In all the other oysters was only one pearl 
— not a Buddha pearl. Mah Thu, Lahbo, 
and Neyoung were sent ba'-k to Mergui in 
Lahbo's boat. And all the way in Neyoung's 
eyes war, the light of murder; and in Mah Thu's 
watchfulness; and in Lahbo's something he 
wanted to tell, and which nobody understood — 
nobody but Neyoung. 

Hadley continued fshing, but no more 
Buddha pearls came his way. 

One moon from that time Neyoung landed 
no 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

in Singapore from the " B. V mail steamer to 
sell the stolen Buddha pearl to Rico, the Rus- 
sian Jew. That was Rico's business— buyins 
stolen pearls from divers. 

Rico had a nose for pearls keen as the vulture 
instmct that finds a sand-buried horse. He 
swooped down on Neyoung, but the astute Bur- 
man would not show him the Buddha at first 
He played Rico for a time. When the Jew saw 
the pearl he went mad. 

Rico had seen big pearls, and bought them, 
too, but never anything like the Buddha pearl 
It was as large as the jewel Tavemier had paid 
half a million for in Arabia. Rico knew that, 
for he knew all the great pearls in the world. 
Ihe luster was good also. Neyoung dealt like 
a Burman who has an eager buyer after him— 
suikily. If Rico wanted the jewel he could take 
It at the tender's price, twenty thousand rupees; 
if he did not, then the Burman would take it 
on to Freemantle, in Australia, and sell it to 
Simonski. How that set Rico's bmin on fire! 
Simonsk. to get this, the greatest pearl since 
the time of T.vernier? Not if it cost him 
ftfty thousand; but, slowly-a thousand saved 
was a thousand gained. 

So for days they fenced— this subtle Burman 
and the scienced Jew. 

Ill 



THIRTEEN MEN 

And all the time Neyoung was trembling lest 
the eyes of Lahbo should tell Mah Thu of the 
pearl. 

Then one day the sale was completed Ne- 
young got a thousand pounds. 

That night Rico took the razor he kept for 
that purpose and cut the throats of twenty fowls. 
It was a sacrifice to the god that had sent the 
pearl to him. It was an extravagance — he 
could not eat them ; biit he was drunken with the 
wine of success. He had never committed an 
extravagance before; also had he never come by 
a pearl for a thousand pounds worth twenty 
thousand. 

When he got home he locked the door of his 
office and cherished his find. He opened his 
vest and rubbed it against his heart. He 
kissed it with his black, snuff-smudged lips. He 
put it on his table, and sat with his arms folded 
in front of it for a long time, drinking in the 
beauty of its vast contour. 

Suddenly he gave a cry and sprang to his feet. 
The color seemed to have changed; a red, murky 
tinge had given place to the faint purplish luster 
he had been worshiping. 

He sat down with a hollow chuckle and gave 
a sigh of relief; it was only a passing fancy, or 
some drunken shadow, for the pearl-white was 
iia 



^ 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

back again. All this excir ment was not good* 
for him, he thought. He would put it away — 
lock it up in his iron safe, where it would be out 
of his sight. 

When he touched it a shudder ran up his arm. 
How cold the thing was! The perspiration 
stood out on his forehead as though he had 
taken an iced drink. When he placed it in the 
safe he fancied that two glassy eyes were staring 
at him from the dark interior. Surely the ex- 
citement had unstrung him a bit. When it was 
locked up he felt better; besides, the thought of 
the great gain he would make warmed his chilled 
blood. 

Next day he sent it to Dalito, in London, for 
sale. He described it to him as an irregular, 
pear-shaped pearl of great luster, weighing one 
hundred and fifty carats. 

Then for a whole moon he knew no rest. He 
had insured it, but if it were lost or stolen I It 
was the one great thing he had achieved in his 
life. 

At length he heard from Dalito, but the let- 
ter only increased his unrest. Evidently there 
had been some mistake. His letter had stated 
that the pearl was pear-shaped, of great luster 
—the one they had received was of no dis- 
tinct form at all, but approached the button- 
'"3 



m 

m 



THIRTEEN MEN 

shape; the luster was bad, of a reddish cast; 
but they would try for an offer in the London 
market. 

Rico was in despair. Somebody had stolen 
his priceless pearl and substituted this red, form- 
less thing. 

Then the memory of what he had seen in his 
own office— that red shadow— came back to him 
with full force— also the eyes in the vault. 
What if this were a ilevil pearl— iie had heard 
of them; where murder had been committed, 
and the ill luck stuck to the jewel. 

He laughed at his own folly, and sat dc^-n 
and wrote a scathing letter to Dalito. He, or 
somebody, was trying to rob him, he wrote. 
Then he tore it up hysterically, and wrote a be- 
seeching one. This he also tore up. Next he 
wrote, he hardly knew what, and waited for 
further news. 

The second letter from Daluo stated that, on 
closer examination, the pearl seemed to be of 
much better luster than they had at first thought, 
and that there was every prospect of selling it 
to an Indian prince for a very fair price; they 
would cable him the offer as soon as received, 
before closing. 

Rico cut the throats of more chickens and 
wept tears of gratitude. Surely it was good to 
114 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

be alive-and deal in big pearls. He prayed 
that the heart of the Hindoo prince might be 
made to lean toward him. 

The next letter was one of despair— despair 
on the part of Dalito. They had sold the pearl 
simply on the strength of their guarantee that 
It was of good luster. Now the prince had sued 
them for damages, and brought half a dozen 
experts as witnesses who swore that it was of a 
vile red. They had been forced to take it back, 
and pay costs, bill of which they sent, and ex- 
pected Rico to remit the amount. Under the 
circumstances they would ask to be relieved of 
the privilege of holding the jewel. 

The only thing that seemed tangible to Rico 
m the whole thing was that the pearl retained 
its weight one hundred and fifty carats. Verily 
if It had not been for that he would have cut 
his own throat instead of the chickens'. He 
cabled them to send it to Antwerp. There it 
brewed won- mischief. Two men, an expert 
and a dealer, got into a wrangle over its luster, 
and wound up by fighting a duel. But that did 
not settle the dispute, for there were other ex- 
perts, some of whom swore it was red, while 
others declared it white. But to sell a pearl of 
one hundred and fifty carats it must have a 
steady, sustained reputation; and soon Antwerp 
"5 



THIRTEEN MEN 



i 



;i 



was no market for Rico's prize. The Jew 
would have to send it far from the strife it had 
created in Europe, so it was transferred to a 
big firm in Hong Kong. 

Because of its likeness in shape to Buddha, 
its holder there narrowly escaped assassination 
twice from fanatical Buddhists. It was sold 
once, and the seller was beheaded for defraud- 
ing the buyer, a rich mandarin. 

In despair Rico had it brought to Singapore. 
He would at least se^ it again. Then one day 
a brilliant idea came to him. Angelo had 
stopped at Singapore on his way to Australia. 
He was on a trip, and, incidentally, would now 
and then dispose of a few pearls that had stuck 
to his fingers. 

Rico had known the diver for years, and 
knew that he could trust him to carry out the 
mission he wished him to undertake. 

" Angelo, my friend," said Rico, " my house 
is thrice accursed because of this shadow of a 
heathen god that changes color. I, a poor man, 
have given a thousand yellow sovereigns to a 
thief of a Burman for it, and am ruined. For 
days I eat lothing because of the poverty that 
has come upon me. Simonski, who lives in Free- 
mantle, is rich; he has robbed and cheated the 
poor divers — even you, too, Angelo — and now 
Ii6 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

he is rich. Take you this purple devil and 
sell it to him for a thousand sovereigns, even 
as I bought it. Of a surety you may keep a 
hundred of it for yourself. Tell him that you 
have come by it at the fisheries; and show it to 
him when you are both calm in mood, for me- 
thinks men's passions bring the blood-red into 
the unchristian thing." 

Then Rico fairly wept at the loss of the hun- 
dred sovereigns, and the disappointment of the 
great chance that had gone by him. He 
chuckled sneeringly as he thought that Simonskl 
would also have days of tribulation, and that 
presently he should have his rival's gold in his 
safe. 

" He will buy it, Angelo, he will buy it," he 
said, as he walked up and down his ofBce ex- 
citedly, dragging his long, talon fingers through 
his yellow-gray beard. Then he stopped and 
faced the diver, looking pleadingly into his eyes: 
" And, Angelo, if you get from Simonski more 
—twelve hundred pounds, or even more, you 
will bring me, a poor man, my thousand. Thnik 
of the money I have spent in commissions and 
insurances — all lost, all lost I 

" Surely you will get for me back my thou- 
sand pounds; but if not, then the nine hundred 
—that you will get for me, Angelo. Remem- 
117 



THIRTEEN MEN 

ber, next year you will have pearU to k11, and I 
will pay you good prices." 

Angelo did not take in the full pathos of the 
Jew's plaint; but he made up his mind to Meed 
Simonski for all the big pearl would fetch. Rico 
had said nine hundred pounds, and that was all 
he would get; the rest- would be his perquisite 
for working Simonski. 

When Angelo landed in Freemantle he was 
met at die steamer Ijy the Jew. The diver was 
diffident and haughty ; that proved to Simonski's 
astute mind that he must have something good 
— something very good — up his sleeve. 

They were both artists. Angelo was Simon- 
ski's " dear friend." But Angelo answered thai 
Simonski had paid him poor prices before; this 
time it would be a great price — a really great 
price — more money, perhaps, than the Jew had. 
At this Simonski grinned and smote his chest, 
and was on the point of making a boast when 
he suddenly remembered that he was a buyer, 
and said: " Yes, alasl I am a poor man; the 
divers have robbed me because of the prices I 
paid them until I am poor. Rico, who has 
robbed the divers, is very rich." 

He thought he saw a look of disappointment 
creep into the eyes of Angelo. " But I can bor- 
row the money, my peerless diver, by paying 
ii8 



STEALING THE BliUDHA PEARL 

ruinous intere»t, lo be it the pearls are good. 
But pearls are cheap — very cheap this year. 
Big pearls sell for little more than small ones, 
because everybody is poor— everybody but 
Rico." 

But not even that day did he see the pearl. 
Angelo, who had come by the cunning from his 
Spanish father and the patience of waiting from 
his native mother, knew the Jew was not quite 
ripe. 

At last the day arrived when Angelo became 
mellow under the gentle influence of the Jew's 
alcoholic friendship. 

Simonski had not seen the pearl before — the 
diver would never show it. When ht jew be- 
held its size he thought that perhaps he would 
build a small synagogue if the favor continued 
till he acquired the gem. 

Angelo threw his arms around the Jew's neck 
and kissed him like an impulsive Latin. In the 

end he made Simonski a present of the pearl 

for twelve hundred pounds. 

Then he took the nine hundred pounds back 
to Rico, and his own three hundred to Mergui. 

Simonski sent the Buddha to Dalito, even as 
Rico had done. " I am sending you the great- 
est of all pearls," the Jew wrote; " it ought to 
bring twenty-five thousand pounds at least." 
119 



THIRTEEN MEN 

More he wrote, for the words cost nothing. 
" He will fall in love with my queen of light 
when he sees it," thought the Jew poetically, 
while he waited for word from Dalito. 

The London dealer's letter was hardly a love 
epistle when it arrived. " This accursed bauble 
has turned up again," he said, " after nearly 
ruining my reputation as a respectable mer- 
chant; or else there has been a shower of devil 
pearls out there, and you have each got one." 
He refused absolutely to have anything to do 
with negotiating its sale. 

Simonski was horror-struck. Then a sus- 
picion crept into his mind; Dalito was crying 
down his jewel because of its priceless value. 
Did he not talk that way himself every day 
when buying? But this was too serious a mat- 
ter; a pearl of that size I It was beyond cavil; 
he would teach Dalito a lesson. So he wrote 
to a trusted Jew friend of his in London to take 
it over to Antwerp, and advised Dalito to 
deliver it. 

It landed his friend in jail in Antwerp, and 
cost Simonski many pounds to get him out, and 
the Buddha back again. They were all in 
league to cheat him out of this fabulous gem, he 
knew, for had he not seen it with his own eyes? 
and it was good. 

I20 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

Then he sent i< lo Hong Kong, to the same 
firm that had it I efore; but .'. it happened, his 
letter got there fit t, and v.hri the jewel arrived 
they promptly reshipped it lo Simonski widiout 
opening the case. 

When it came back he was nearly crazy 
Day and night he had paced his room thinking 
of the mighty pearl. 

Then Simonski thought of the King of Bur- 
ma at Mandalay. He paid big prices for jewels, 
and was not so particular about color as they 
were in London. He would have to take it to 
Rangoon to reach him. So he went at once to 
Rangoon, to Balthazar; he was the man to get 
at the king. 

All this time Mah Thu had been trying to 
find out something. Her little yellow-bead eyes 
were always watching. 

When Neyoung came back from Rico— 
from having sold him the Buddha pearl— he 
spent money like a son whose rich father is just 
dead. Mah Thu saw that. Then the curse of 
the Buddha pearl fell upon Neyoung, for his 
money melted away and left him with only a 
craving for opium. 

When Angelo returned, the three hundred 
pounds he had got so cleveriy from Simonski 
were not to be spent without many little boast- 

121 



THIRTEEN MEN 



»i 



ii 



ings. To have done up a Jew of Simonskl's 
caliber was, ot a surety, cleverer than having 
gathered many tons of " pearl shell." 

Mah Thu heard it in the bazaar, and ques- 
tioned Angelo about it. Yes, it was shaped like 
a little bronze Buddha — much like the little 
black alabaster Buddha in Mah Thu's lacquer 
box. 

Then Mah Thu talked to Lahbo about it. 
She had learned to understand the eyes. When 
he shut them quickly, that was " Yes " ; when 
he rolled them, that was "No." Mah Thu 
asked him questions, and he answered — that 
was their language. So Mnh Thu asked Lah- 
bo : " Did you see the Buddha pearl when you 
dived the last time?" 

The eyes that had been always trying to tell 
something opened and closed eagerly, many 
times. " Did Neyoung steal it? " 

Again the eyes answered " Yes." 

" Did he bring it to Mergui ' " 

" Yes," answered Lahbo. 

At last Mah Thu understood what the eyes 
had always been trying to tell her; and the eyes 
looked so glad. 

It was plain enough. Neyoung had sold it 
to Rico, and Rico had sold it, through Angelo, 
to Simonsk^ When cornered, Neyoung con- 

122 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

fessed gladly enough. He had nothing to lose 
now; he was starving; and if he went to jail, 
even for many years, he would have plenty to 
eat-and they would allow him a little opium 
lest he should die. 

"Yes," Angelo said when questioned, "I 
sold the devil pearl, the thing that goes red and 
white by turns, like a changing lizard, to the 
Jew at Freemantle." 

But there was no law broken in that; so the 
diver had no fear-only pride at his cleverness. 
Hadley followed up the course of the unfor- 
tunate pearl. He learned that both Rico and 
Simonsk, had failed to sell it in Europe, and 
that the Freemantle Jew had gone to Rangoon 
w.th ,t. He took the first steamer for that 
port himself when he learned this, taking 
Angelo with h.m to identify the pearl. He 
also had Neyoung's written confession of the 
theft. 

He went straight to Balthazar, saying: " One 
bimonski has come here with a pearl. Tell him 
1 want tovsee him." 

Now, Balthazar had the Buddha in his pos- 
session. When Simonski brought it and he saw 
'ts great size, he knew that the spirits of his 
forefathers had sent it to him that he might be- 
come rich among men. He had marveled much 
• • 123 



THIRTEEN MEN 

at the Freemantle Jew's stupidity in not sending 
it to Europe. 

He was a man of much silence on occasion, 
so he said nothing to Hadley about this. 

The Freemantle man thought he had a new 
purchaser for his jewel when he met Hadley. 
" Surely the pearl was worth ten thousand 
pounds," he told the captain. " Never had 
such a precious thing come his way. Yes, three 
thounand pounds was its price, and the next day 
he would show it." That was because Bal- 
thazar had it then in his hands to decide about 
buying it. 

The captain meant to seize it wheii it came 
into his possession. But that night it was stolen 
from Balthazar. Captain Hadley heard thiii in 
the morning, and told Angelo of it. 

" Fernandez has stolen it," said Angelo; " he 
was a diver, but because of stealing he came to 
Rangoon. He has taken it — he alone knows 
how to steal and sell pearls. These Burmese 
know only to steal rupees." Also he assured 
Hadley that he would get it for him. " Give 
me one hundred pounds, master, and I will get 
it from Fernandez." 

Then the captain went to Simonski and told 
him that the Buddha pearl was his; it had beer, 
stolen from him at the fisheries by Neyoung, 
124 



STEALING THE BUDDHA PEARL 

and he, Simonski, had bought it from another 
d.ver Angelo. Now it was stolen again, and he 
would hold the Jew responsible for its value, the 
three thousand pounds he had said it was worth 
The Jew saw trouble ahead. He swore by 
the beard of Abraham that he had never said 
It was worth three thousand pounds. It was a 
vile, gnarled thing of infamous color, not worth 
a hundred pounds. He had been ruined by it- 
it was an accursed thing, bringing nothing but 
trouble to honest men. It would be better if 
they never saw it again; and the thief would 
go to perdition because of it, sure. If he had 
asked three thousand pounds for it from Bal- 
thazar, that was because the Armenian was 
rich, while he was a poor man and the pearl 
had ruined him. But the Buddha had been 
stolen from the Armenian, he declared, and he 
would make him pay its value, three thousand 
pounds. 

Simonski was in despair. If he recovered the 
pearl, Hadley would seize it; if he did not the 
captain would try to make him p ./ its full value 
If Balthazar paid him for it, this man would 
seize that. Surely evil days had fallen upon his 
house. 

Captain Hadley was also uneasy. To come 
so close upon the jewel and then lose it was 
"5 



THIRTEEN MEN 



h 



really too bad. It would be difficult to grind 
the money out of the Jew. All depended upon 
Angelo's being able to get back the pearl. A 
hundred pounds should fetch it, Hadley thought, 
if the diver could get at the right man; for it 
would be difficult for a thief to dispose of a 
jewel as large as the Buddha pearl. 

That night Angelo brought to his master the 
stolen Buddha. Yes, it was Fernandez who had 
taken it. But he had given his master's word 
that nothing shoult} be done to the thief; also 
had he paid him the hundred pounds — all ex- 
cept ten pounds, which he had kept for his own 
trouble. 

At last the Buddha pearl had come back to its 
rightful owner. Hadley had not stolen it; he 
had come by it in the fishing at Pawa; so the 
curse of Crotha fell away from it when it came 
into his hands. 

Crotha's pearl had accomplished much. It 
had humbled Lahbo and Neyoung and Rico 
and Simonski. And now it brought good for- 
tune to Hadley, for he got twenty thousand 
pounds for it in England when he sent it there. 

He gave Simonski five hundred pounds at the 
fmish. He declared that he would give him 
nothing; but when tears stand in a man's eyes, 
what can another man do ? 
126 






THE NET OF LEO 

PHILIP FLEMING. Akyab, was Com- 
missioner of Arakan, Burma. 

Commissioners arc made by hard 
work, from honest material; Government kisses 
seldom go by favor, notwithstanding club belief. 
The Indian Civil Service is a monastery 
wherein men are consecrated to the labor of em- 
pire extension. It is a car of Juggernaut, wheel- 
ing the new religion of betterment over their 
worn bodies. 

Commissioner Fleming was a giant of huge 
official wisdom, holding codes and civil proce- 
dure at his finger tips. The governorship of 
Uurma would accrue to him as surely as a crown 
comes to the rightful heir. Philip Fleming in 
the lesser hfe was a babe, holding belief in the 
goodness of human nature until it stultified itself 
in large type. He was impregnate with such 
nch juiciness of honor that he had in his own 
Kind the sublime faith of an ox. 

This state of mind was altogether before the 
happening. 

127 



f> 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Fleming had married young. If marrying 
young is a mistake, in his case it was seven kinds 
of a mistake, for the more he developed the 
work fever, the more Helen, his wife, became 
a lily of the field. 

An impatient man, out of cause, would have 
developed a crisis; but Philip waited, almost not 
understanding, until the crisis came with a vehe- 
mence. 

It is not a story for new reading; it is so old, 
old, old. 

His soul was in his work; his heart was really 
in the bungalow; but the work soul cried for rest 
and consolement to the heart, until the heart 
responsive was a little too quiescent. It wasn't 
that Helen was bad — just selfish. Somebody 
must smooth the mold to the lilies that toil not, 
and the monastery that was the Government 
service laid heavy penance of toil on its zealous 
priest. 

Thus the old, old story fructified. 

At the time of the coming of the crisis Helen 
was at Darjeeling with the children, Roscoe and 
Madge. On the Akyab rumor board she was 
ill. The station people read this cynically; they 
always knew far more than they knew — that's 
an Indian habit. Then one day the commis- 
sioner was called suddenly by wire to Calcutta — 
128 



THE NET OF LEO 

Helen wai ill. In two weeks Philip returned 
with his little boy and girl; the mother was 
sleeping under the sweet-perfumed hill deodars, 
and their cones dropped gently on the little 
mound in summer, and the snow covered it pure 
white in winter. 

If the commissioner had worked before, now 
he toiled. 

For a year the children were the children of 
an ayah, which is little better than being the off- 
spring of Spartans. If Philip could have s'.nt 
them to England it would have been better; but 
he couldn't — his heart would have starved. 

A commissioner's bungalow without a mis- 
tress is as useless, socially, as a convent; in fact, 
the commissionership is a dual office, social and 
official. So Akyab groaned in its desolation. 
It was a place ill-favored by the gods most abso- 
lutely, for the prev'ous commissioner had come 
among them worse than single — he had brought 
a Burmese wife. 

Meetha had nursed him just on the sloping 
bank of Styx — ^he was almost rolling in — up 
Pakan way; and he, with unofficial chivalry, had 
married her, pucca — as thoroughly as church 
and state could seal the contract. 

So his tenure of office had been a social blank ; 
and now, in Fleming's time, the big bungalow 
129 



h 



in 



THIRTEEN MEN 

was just a homing place for the silent man who 
sent dacoits to the Andaman Islands, or hantred 
them out of hand. 

There was a deputy commissioner, Jack 
Kawlton; and, also, which was of greater im- 
portance, he had just the cleverest wife that ever 
took an Indian station in hand. 

Maritally ,he was in love with her husband, 
Jack; psychologically she was enamored of 
I'hilip Flemmg's superb qualities. Quite hon- 
estly she determined to ameliorate his condi- 
tion; and, diplomatically, she stirred the people 
mto a ferment of discontent, to the end that the 
commissioner might be harassed into a properly 
amenable frame of mind. 

Mrs. Rawlton had a sister within striking dis- 
tance of Akyab. Had the other ladies known 
of this, they might not have labored so enthu- 
siastically, nor blindly accredited her with dis- 
interested motives until it was absolutely too 

The sister, Mary Kelvey, was in Calcutta, 
and quite unaware of the endeavor of Mrs 
Rawlton. Even when Mary stepped from the 
B. I. steamer to the pier in Akyab, and was 
whirled away in a high dogcart to her sister's 
bungalow, she was as innocent of the crusade 
as was Philip Fleming. 

130 






clever 
; breast 



THE NET OF LEO 

Jack Rawlton was not in it with his 
wife at putting an ear to the palpitating 

the utihty of having a sister-in-law married to 
a man who would one day be chief commissioner, 
he could undentand that much of diplomacy. 
After all, his role was a minor one. Mrs. Rawl- 

dell h "k 'T'T °^ ''"'"^'■"« ''" ^''«' blun- 
dering husband a chance to wreck the play. 

The little stories of Philip Fleming's excel- 

lence, chiefly official, which Rawlton told at 

mlderin^"'""* '" """"'^ ^™'" *"'* ''''^''"'^ 
Mary Kelvey's advent caused a renaissance in 
tlie dormant sentimental atmosphere of the sta- 
tion. She was beautiful, which was excuse 
enough for this change; and, in addition, new 
girls didn't fetch the Port of Akyab often 
Hvery mau possessed of legitimate right to fall 
in love with a woman (and some who weren't) 
cultivated Mrs. Rawlton. This phase of the 
case was absolutely innocuous; but when small 
dark Laurence Herbert began to abstain from' 
his orever and ever caustic epigrams, Mrs. 
Rawlton m defense was forced to confide to 
Molly that Philip Fleming was simply waiting 
his chance. Herbert was all very fine in the way 
of romance, but Mary hadn't come from Cal- 
131 



THIRTEEN MEN 



>, 



cutta for romance; there wai plenty of that in 
the City of Palaces. 

Mary Kelvey had manifestly broken Herbert 
of his q'liical i'lhumanity — which was a good 
thing for his friends; for him it was the Bastile. 
Four hundred rupees a month was the chain 
binding him to the rock of celibacy. 

The sister saw to it that Mary viewed Philip 
Fleming's character in the purple and fine linen 
of wise interpretation, until the glamour of the 
real man crept into her understanding, as the 
droning of bees wafts soft music to ears lazy of 
sleep. 

On Fleming's side potent influences were at 
work to enlarge the void in his life. 

It is a tenet of faith held of the Anglo-Indians 
that ayahs always quiet their child charges with 
the black tears of the poppy — the little pellets 
of opium; and Mrs. Rawlton had this skeleton 
fear brought forth and made to dance in the 
mind of Philip Fleming. This was only one of 
the many things that, beyond doubt, shadowed 
the lives of the children unless they should ac- 
quire a European mother. 

Also of Philip Fleming's self: paradoxically, 

the intensity of his official endeavor vacuated his 

mind, till in its exhaustion it clamored for refill- 

ment at the fount of sympathy. The club 

132 



THE NET OF LEO 

whiit, the station dinners with their semiofficial 
chatterings, the vagaries of the opium-saturated 
Arakanese— all failed utterly by way of com- 
pensation. 

Mrs. Rawlton's dominating influence forged 
a connecting link; and when Philip asked the 
beautiful girl, half his age, to become his wife, 
she answered as though there was no such thing 
as a negative in the philosophy of love. 

The announcement set the station aghast, like 
the sweep of a cholera wave. Somehow they 
had been as one in their deductions as to Flem- 
ing's natural destiny: an official's widow, or 
maiden of his own age, forty, they had dedi- 
cated unanimously to the governing of Govern- 
ment House. Now the commissioner was to 
marry Mary Kelvey, still loitering in the spring- 
time of girlhood. 

It would make quite a separate story to chron- 
icle the gentle exhilaration of gossip, all full of 
regret, that once bitten was not twice shy with 
the commissioner. 

What Mary said to her sister is of this story, 
for it was of the vital essence of the second 
crisis. " Cid, I said ' Yes,' " Mary confided to 
the Deputy Memsahib. 

The sister kissed her, and said, " I'm very 
happy, Molly; Philip loves you." 

133 



h 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"He didn't say anything about it," Mary 
answered. ^ 

Mrs. Rawlton raised her evebrows. " Philip 
didn't tell you he loved you'. ^ 

" Haven't you always darioned his great vir- 
tue of truth and honesty, Cid ? " » '^'^ 

"I don't understand?" 
" Just that he has proven himself all that you 
say. He might easily have romanced about 
We; but he didn't. As I remember it, there 
was much talk of happiness, honor. a„d all 

'' Are you joking, Molly? " 

" No; his declaration was in keeping with our 

to back out. He doesn't love me a little bit- 
he just wants some one to mother the children.' 
Oh don t look frightened; the Kelveys never 
back out once they pledge their word-that's 
the^disadvantage of having family esprh de 

" Molly, you're mistaken. Philip is one of 
those strong, self<ontained men who feel a 
great deal more than they express." 

"Yes, he's self-contained, Cid. But if I 
didn t actually believe that what you say is true 

d it ;rf ?r ™- '' ' ^"' "<=»• °' power: 
ful, I wouldn't beheve it. But he must care for 

134 



THE NET OF LEO 

me, to wish to make me ;iis wife— don't you 
think so, sister?" ' 

Mrs. Rawlton saw it all. Fleming had worn 
that execrable armor of reserve, even in his love- 
niaking, a„d Mary was simply voicing the 
doubts which this had left in her mind. How- 
ever ,t would all come right, she knew. 

They were married in the little English 
church that nestled in the mango tope like a 
quamt bloodstone. The bell clanged vocifer- 
ously; the guests brought the diplomatic felici- 
tations of higher culture; in fact, there was a 
brave attempt at making it a love feast. 

But, somehow, the little god seemed to have 
wandered off into the jungle, or to have hidden 
himself m the pagan shrine that was a white- 
washed pagoda. Perhaps, even, he was down in 
the little bamboo hut where Shwebo, who had 
been married that same day, had taken Mindah, 
h.s bride. Shwebo was only a clerk in the cut- 
chem; so if Cupid really lingered widi him, he 
was at best but a poor courtier. 

Intention counts for little if everything in 
environment is an obstacle; and the church rit- 
ual seemed to have exorcised die sister's influ- 
ence. Things drifted badly. 

Disenthralled, Mary became a bondwoman 
to her distrust of Philip's love. His very solid- 



h 





1 '1 


i»i ill 




if. 


1 


1 r> 



THIRTEEN MEN 

tudc over the children thrust her from the inner 
orcle of h.s heart; and the illogical fantasy thl[ 
she was there simply as the keeper to the other 
woman's children grew oppressively huge in her 

Philip knew nothing of this. At first his hesi- 
tancy of expressed sentiment was of delicate for- 
bearance-of his remembrance always that he 
was forty; oddly enough, his abnegating gentle! 

Jf ITr'''n'° -^'^ " '""'^ inconsideLion. 
If he had really trusted more to the blind little 

tToubi*:/'''^ °' '"^ ^""''"'-^ •>- ^"3 
Something of his cleavage entered into the 

kedni ''"'"". ^' '°y 'P^'^^ °f the 
an715.r"!f" \^0"J««"g " his mother, 
and With Madge, Mary was mother. 

over thJ^lT""""/''"* '^"^'^ '■*' "8'y "°»»'" 
over the lattice of restraint until even the serv- 

ants talked. They always do m India ; but wS, 

the commissK,ner's servitors was a strange, weird 

tale that had come of the ayah's unwise tongue 

h„ lui f T^ ''"* '°^^ °^ " '" the cook 
house Abdul, the cook, laughed in derision. He 
was a Mussulman, having no truck with the de- 
vious ways of many gods; so he muttered " Al- 
iah, to himself, and aloud reviled the teller as 
a liar of much magnitude. 
136 



fii i 



THE NET OF LEO 
"Listen, brother," cried the ayah, "if this 

offend a Brahmin." 

" G° o". tc" us. garrulous one," sneered Ah- 

I u^" " ^''^'^ *•= *y" : P^haps he will 
also call thee a liar when thou hast finished, for 
Baloo beheves nothing when he is sober, and 
everything when he is otherwise." 

" It is of the Mcmsahib," began the a-ah 
drawing her muslin serai over her silver anklets. 
_^ Then, indeed, it is a lie," declared Abdul, 

for if ayahs were to tell the truth of their 
Memsahibs they would offend other than the 
Brahmins." 

"Abdul, thou hast swallowed the carving 
kn>fc. I speak not of the new Memsahib— no, 
't is of the Commissioner Memsahib that is 
dead at Darjeeling." 

"Oh, indeed, it is a true tale," sneered Ab- 
dul ; of a dead woman there may be truth." 

' What of the story," pleaded Baloo; " is it 
a new one?" 

"Did I not always maintain that the Mem- 
sahib loved the babas?" began the nurse. 

She gave you a silver bangle, ayah," remon- 
strated Baloo. 

^^ "That she knew of," interjected Abdul; 
ayah had other presents." 

137 



h 



111 i 






THIRTEEN MEN 

The woman ignored the insinuation, and 
continued: " As I always said, she loved the little 
babas, and now—" the nurse leaned forward 
and whispered— "she comes at night and plays 
on the piano for them." 

" How can one that is always asleep know 
these things?" objected Abdul. 

Twice have I found them slumbering by 
the piano," continued the ayah; "and when I 
asked of the little Sahib the why of it, he waxed 
cross and spoke ill of all Hindoos. But are they 
not my charge, thp babas; so I watched, sitting 
b<!hmd a purdah— the new Memsahib was at a 
i-"rra khana " 

" That is not news," exclaimed Abdul; " am 
I not forgetting my art dirough the cooking of 
no house dinners? I might as well be on circuit 
m the jungle." 

" Have patience, cook," pleaded Baloo; " it 
is a good tale." 

" The new Memsahib was at a hurra khana 
as I watched," repeated the ayah, " and there 
was but tl , one oil lamp." 

" Coulc you see the dead Memsahib?" que- 
ried Baloo. 

" No ; but I heard sweet music. And at once 
the babas came from their beds, where I had put 

them with such great care " 

138 



THE NET OF LEO 

Abdut""'' °^ '^' "'""■ ''""«''•" '««""Pted 
"The A«Aa, sat by the piano, and the soft 

M^hJll 'V ^/ '"' ^"""'''•'- Then the 
Mehja came blundering with a noise, and the 

AeLlTK-r ^^^^'l ^** I had driven away 
„h,!f Sahib's mother. Is not that proof that 
what I say IS true?" 
;; Did you tell master? " queried Baloo. 
No; ^hy should I? The new Memsahib 
does not play for my little baia., and have I n^ 
said the mother loved them ? " 

" Certain it is a bad sign." declared the syce 
solemnly "The new Memsahib will die, or 
perhaps It IS the *«*<«." 

" 1 '* if ""^i*" ""'" °""'" «^°««d A« nurse; 
th^ have done nothing that is wrong." 

Still, ayah, perhaps the mother is coaxina 
tnem away." * 

It is because of ayahs that everything in India 
•s known. An ayah tells an ayah, and some- 
toes that ayah whispers to her Memsahib. 
So the ghost tale came to the ears of Mary's 
sister Mrs. Rawlton had seen with wise eyes 
the foolish discontent. Now it was time 
to take Mary in hand with decision; and she 
did. 

" It's no use." the girl answered; " no woman 
10 X39 



h 



1 ■ I 



I Mi 



^'ii 



THIRTEEN MEN 

could fall !n love with Philip— he wouldn't 
allow It. I'm the second to discover that." 
" Hush, Molly! You love him." 
" Not a bit. Why should I ? " 
" You are tragically honest." 
" Then I'm even with Philip. We are both 
honest; that's all there is to it. I'm there to 
look after the dead woman's children." 
" Philip loves you, Molly." 
" Cid, do you know what I think? I believe 
he s m love with Helen." 
" She's dead." 

" Perhaps that's why; a woman can't reason 
out a man's motives." 

'' You don't try to reason out Philip." 
I' It's unnecessary, Cid. I know he's aU you 
claim for him. But a woman at twenty-two 
can t love a man simply because he is excellent 
in office, or approved of at his club. A girl 
wants love— the thousand and one things that 
Philip knows nothing of." 

"You're just talking yourself into rebellion, 
Molly." 

" I'm starving for sympathy, Cid. Can't you 
see what a desert I'm in, with its mirage of love. 
My soul is parched— I cry out, revolting my. 
self for the falseness of my existence." 

" Is it not as hard on Philip, Molly? " 
140 



THE NET OF LEO 

Oriental diplomacy, conceived this plan of get- 
ting a governess for hi, children. It is all 'the 
children with him. The little sentiment he can 
find time for is theirs." 

,'.' J,.*j '•* y°" '"'«'»' make him love you " 
Cid, you treat the grand passion as a doctor 
would gout. You might write out a prescriptil" 
Honesty, five grams; position, ten grain,; official 
capacity, twenty grains; mix, and it .11 induce 
tove. But it's worse than the gout mixture, Cid. 
One can toss that horrible stuff through die win- 
dow ; the other remains in one's life for ever and 

" You are disloyal, Molly." 
" No Kelvey was ever that " 

pk'JSSr- " """»««"««'«*!. P- 

" But about Herbert, Molly " 

The girl laughed. " Don't say commonplace 

d»ngs, sister; die half-castes in the Telegraph 

Service take that view of everything." 
He's always about." 

"Naturally; he's in love with me, I fancy. 

If I had married him, I should probably be in 

love with h.m. I didn't; so I'm not." 

141 



f\ 



l'\. 



IM 



!:1 



THIRTEEN MEN 

" I shall write to headquarters to have Her- 
bert transferred to a place of hard work." 

"You needn't trouble, Cid. Philip willsoonsee 
the hopelessness of it all, and I shall go away." 
"You mustr't, Molly— you mustn't!" Men- 
tion of this dreadful alternative stirred Mrs. 
Rawlton to impatient strides up and down the 
room. " Did you ever hear of a Kelvey shirk- 
ing her duty? Didn't Ned hold that stone san- 
gar against the Afridis until—" she stopped and 
put her arms around the girl's neck, burying her 
face in her shoulder. 

" Don't worry, Cid. I'll keep the Kelvey 
honor as bright as Ned did. But this is worse 
than holding a stone fort against Afghans. The 
house is haunted by the other woman's spirit; 
her presence is everywhere— was she a great mu- 
sician, Cid?" 

The sister started. "She was, Molly; but 
why do you ask?" 

" I'll tell you. I know you'll call it morbid 
fancy, but it's not. When I touched the keys 
of the piano, her piano, a spirit wailed back at 
me from the chords. My fingers thrilled with 
its influence." 

"Too much quinine, Molly; it gets on my 
nerves sometimes." 

" No, Cid. I've heard soft music at night 
142 



THE NET OF LEO 

when there was nobody in the room. I know 
somethmg dreadful will happen-I can feel it." 
...• Jj'^u'"''!^'''"' '^°"y-" Mrs. Rawlton 

. ".^""'V/*'"""'^' '"*''« way- WithRos- 
coeitisall my mother, my mother.' If there 
w« one soul that loved me, I shouldn't mind; 

tiently.-''' "" ''"" ^°"' ^°"''- J"'' ^"'^ P"" 
it will" '"'''' ''"* '°°''*^'"8 ^^'^ ''"PPen. I know 

■.Ja^I ""^"'^ ^P''"^ °^ "^ happening material- 
ized the next day. 

r Jlt'*""^'! T*'" "'^"y" '^'"='' togrther at the 
Gymldiana Club on Saturday night. This was 
Sahirday and the commissioner broke bread 
with his brother officials. 

When he returned home he found Roscoe and 
Madge asleep in each other's arms on the 
matted floor by the piano. In his astonishment 
he called sharply, " Mary! " 

The ayah came from the servants' quarters. 
Call your Memsahib," Philip commanded. 
Memsahib going to Dep'ty Memsahib's 
bungalow, the woman answered in confusion. 
143 



f\ 



i : 



[i r 'I i\ 



Mil 

J! i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Of the children the ayah knew nothing; the 
Sahib's fierce questions brought forth nothing. 
Of the spirit music she spoke not at all; nor of 
anything, but that she put the babas in their 
cots, and she was a poor woman that sometimes 
fell asleep on the veranda when saying her 
prayers. 

Philip carried the children to their room; as 
his hand rested for an instant on the boy's fore- 
head he found it hot. The sea night wind that 
always carried pisflential fever— why, no man 
can say— was blowing straight up the harbor 
neck between the lighthouse and Scandal Point, 
and, sweeping in through the open door, it had 
smitten the thin-dad lad as he slept and poisoned 
him. 

Philip's heart in its anger grew as hot as the 
fevered brow of the boy. Molly's indifference 
to himself he could understand. He felt he was 
very much of a machine, an official plodder; the 
dust of the cutcherri, no doubt, had clogged the 
buoyant working of his mind until he was as 
hopelessly dull as the big alabaster image of 
Gaudama up a he pagoda. 

But surely the children should have crept into 
her heart a little. Now one of them was 
stricken, and she, who should have been a 
mother to them, was away. 
144 



,;hi 



THE NET OF LEO 

" Sit here with the children, ayah, till I re- 
turn," he commanded. 

Passing out, he stood for a minute, an un> 
utterable weariness of lonely feeling in his face, 
his eyes wandering over the big room. The 
dreariness of it struck into his heart. 

Fronting the bungalow, the salt waters lapped 
and moaned as the fever wind drove them slug- 
gishly up the flat beach. How different was his 
homecoming to what it might have been I That 
the fault was undoubtedly his, lessened not the 
aspect of desolation. 

A tucktaw, somewhere in the leaf roof, 
echoed in dreary monotone the bitter cry that 
was in his soul. " Tucktaw, tucktaw 1 " Nine 
times Philip counted the lizard's grating cry; and 
then at the end, a long-drawn-out " Aw-w-w ! " 
as if in derision of his futile longing for hap- 
piness. 

A tucktaw was a harbingei good fortune, 
in the belief of that land of beliefs. There had 
been one in the bungalow before Helen was 
kissed to sleep by the death angel; then it had 
gone away — at least this was the first time hi 
had heard the dreary rail for months. But there 
was little prospect of good fortune this forlorn 
night of the luck lizard's advent. 

It was as though nothing slept; as though 
Hi 



'f 



I 



HI 



m 



THIRTEEN MEN 

with darkneM itiiKry came down to earth and 
stalked gaunt, uniatiified, rapacious of human 
housing. These fantastic voices of the night, 
striking with fierce sweep the tense heart chords 
of the listener, had stilled Philip to a moment 
of silent meditation. 

Suddenly a sweet note fell upon the depressed 
man's ear. He turned his head sharply; he 
could have sworn it was from the piano. Some- 
thing in the exquipite pathos of the low vibration 
echoed in his memory. In his young li fe, Helen's 
fingers used to wander over the keys idly, claim- 
ing from the chords a sweet response of sym- 
pathy. In those days, a rose blossom, a murmur 
of music, had fitted to their careless happiness. 
He took an eager step and listened again. 
The adagio had ceased — there was nothing. It 
was as if his close presence repulsed all gen- 
tleness. 

Down on the beach, silhouetted in the moon- 
light, he could see a pair of jackals wrangling 
discordantly over something the ebbing tide had 
stranded on the black sands. 

Philip laughed in bitterness. Was not his life 
more like that — ^was not the soft music but the 
creation of his own yearning? 

Impatient with himself, yielding again to new 
anger, he strode into the moonlight. 
146 



THE NET OF LEO 

Ai he paued down to the metaled road, the 
champacs stirred lazily in the fever wind, their 
white blossoms, yellow-hearted, revolting his 
tensioned spirit with their heavy, sensuous 
breath. Bah! They choked him — smothered 
him. He almost ran to the straight, broad road ; 
then over its hard floor he swung with fierce 
stride, under the octopus limbs of the over-lacing 
banyans that threw weird serpentine shadows 
across his path. Somehow the fantastic night 
picture was one of Dore's Inferno conceptions. 
Then the road dipped lower toward the sea 
beach, and the spirelike casarinas — wives of 
Neptune, that die from out his embrace — caught 
the whispering wind in their singing bows and 
wailed softly to the human that sped so swiftly 
at their knees. 

Between two white pillaw that looked like 
tombstones, Philip turned into the Rawlton 
drive; within the lighted bungalow he could see 
Mary — happy from out his presence. 

Philip checked his eager way and gazed with 
hot eyes at a picture that seared his heart : beside 
his wife the lamplight limned in sharp-cut lines 
the face of Hertert. 

This was why Mary had left the children to 
the ayah's care. More than once Philip had 
fancied a sense of uneasiness over Herbert. 
147 



THIRTEEN MEN 
When the liveried Durwan stepped into the 

A^Jr'^M TT'"^' "C°"""i"ioner Sahib 
ha,t Mn Rawlton could have risen in anger 
and grasped w.th strong hands the slender oL 
throat of Laurence Herbert-as appeal against 
the erratic cruelty of fate. His coming had been 
such a chance-a lucidess chance. Fate, in the 
Z H °K ' P»«'"'-*«='"P"»d pony, had 
Arown Herbert to earth with such emphatic 
force that his b(.ttered nerves had shirked the 
club dmner, and to escape the desolation of his 
silent bungalow he had wandered over to the 
Kawltons. 

In Philip's face Mrs. Rawlton read the anger 
of cumulative suspicion. 

" I've come for you, Mary— Roscoe is ill » 
the commissioner said, with the slow drawl of a 
set purpose. For a moment Mary gave no sign ; 
she was thinking that Philip's anger was for the 
neglect of the children, not because he had 
missed her. Mrs. Rawlton looked curiously 
from face to face. On Herbert's was a cynical 
look of amused pity. 

Mrs. Rawlton spoke first, with decision, for 
she detected rebellion in her sister's face : " Come 
«nd get your wraps, Mo^y. Sit down for a 
minute, Philip." 

In the room she spoke with large wisdom to 
148 



|!:li 



THE NET OF LEO 

the girl, saying over and over again : " Don't 
speak— don't utter a word, unless you say, ' I'm 
sorry.' Leave the matter of Herbert's being 
here to me— I'll settle that. Now go— quick ! " 
Mrs. Rawlton went with them to the tom- 
tom. 

As the gray Burma pony's small hoofs beat at 
the beach road with the rattle of a .snare drum, 
the two angered ones sat upright and silent in 
the cart that slipped swiftly in and out the tun- 
nels of banyan shade that were dark caverns in 
the moonlight. 

Perhaps it would have been better had Philip 
talked to Mary then; for when he did give voice 
to his bitterness in the bungalow, the boy's fe- 
vered face had drawn his thoughts to the chil- 
dren again, and his strong complaint was of her 
evident lack of affection for them. If he had 
only spoken of his own loneliness— of a craving 
for her love— she would have rejoiced; but he 
was forever and ever relegating her to the posi- 
tion of a governess. That was her misconcep- 
tion ; in reality he had come to look upon her love 
as too great a thing to ask. He also misunder- 
stood. His age appalled him. He might have 
known that a girl of twenty could not come to 
love a man of forty, whose years of delving in 
dusty official records had made him old indeed. 
149 



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ill 






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i< iii ■ 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Not undemanding each other, the foolish 
thougft that they had blundered crept into their 
words, and they drifted in a sea of anger that 
set their life craft against a cleaving rock of de- 
struction. Mary, possessed of the sin of impetu- 
osity — which is a quick gamer of evil results — 
picturing a false hopelessness of striving, asked 
Philip to let her go away. He, thinking she was 
utterly weary of him, consented. 

When Mrs. Rawlton knew from Mary of this 
she writhed in hopelessness. It was the very 
emptiness of the quarrel that rendered her im- 
potent; there was nothing tangible to go upon. 
How could a sane woman deal with fancies, or 
explain them away ? It was all as clear as noon- 
day to her. Mary was practically jealous of a 
dead woman; that certainly was a fancy difficult 
to combat. She was jealous of the children; but 
to attempt to prove that Philip did not love the 
little ones would be absurd. Possibly the hus- 
band was jealous of Herbert; but as there was 
absolutely so little cause, Mrs. Rawlton could 
not even mention the subject without making 
trouble. 

So she just sat still, after a little attempt at 
reason with Molly, and waited. 

The boy's fever had been checked — he was 
almost well again — but still the quarrel was un- 
150 



THE NET OF 7.E0 



healed; Mary was to go to Calcutta by the first 
steamer. 

Up to the very evening before steamer day 
Fate had shown no inclination to interfere. 
That evening the commissioner was suddenly 
called to Padouk. He went in his steam launch, 
and by traveling all night would return in the 
early morning before his wife departed. Mrs. 
Rawlton had Mary for the evening, and toiled 
without avail. 

As the girl, leaving the sister's bungalow, 
turned her cart between the two white stones of 
the gateway the pony swerved and a man's voice 
came out of the darkness, saying, " Pull up, 
Molly — I want to talk with you." 

She reined in her pony, and the syce caught 
him by the head. Herbert came forward and 
stood by the wheel. " Send Baloo ahead, 
Molly," he pleaded, " and walk home." 

" I don't like it, Laurence." 

"Just to say good-by," he begged; " it's the 
last time." 

The girl descended, and the syce led the pony 
ahead of them. 

"You shouldn't have waited for me," she 
said; " it's not right — I don't like it." 

" It was a fluke, Molly — honest. I was going 
in to Rawlton's when I saw your trap. Your 
IS! 



u\ 



W\ 



M'l 



THIRTEEN MEN 

sister wigged me for being there the other night. 
Are you really going away, Molly? " 
" To-morrow." 

"Is it anything— am I to blame — did 
Philip » 

" Nobody is to blame." 

" You are coming back? " 

" Never." 

" What is to come of it, Molly? " 

The girl sighed wearily. " I don't know: 

•• • There is t door tu which I find no key ; 
There is i veil put which I cannot see.' " 

They walked a little in silence, then Herbert 
added : 

" ' And i< there tillc awhile of me and thee i ' " 

" No. ' No more of thee and me.' " 

" You are more cruei than the tentmaker — 
you harden his words." 

" Omar was a Persian, and said more than he 
meant; I am English, and say less." 

" But has Philip decided on anything— arc 
you to be free?" 

" I am going away— that is aU ' between thee 
and me,' Laurence; 

" ' The stars are setdng and the Canvui 
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing^—.' " 
152 



THE NET OF LEO 

" It is dark going, Molly." 
" Yes ; but it is darker staying." 
They were at the gate. The syce had gone 
on to the stable; and the two went in between 
the opium-breathed champacs, the mottled-leafed 
crotons brushing the girl's cheek as she walked, 
like fingers of remonstrance touching her in a 
friendship of caution. 

" When you are free, Molly—" Herbert be- 
gan; but she stopped him, interrupting, " I am 
not free, Laurence; I am Philip Fleming's wife." 
" I^ haven't forgotten that, Molly. You 
needn't caution me. Fleming is your husband, 
and he's my friend; that's the bitter part of it. 
When we dine together at the gym we eat the 
same salt, and I'm bound to a rock of despair 

like Prometheus " 

" You should bind your tongue, Laurence; 
you shouldn't say diese things to me." 

" There is no sin in actuality; I suffer the most 
over it. You don't love him— you are going 

away. When you are free, Molly " 

They were at the bungalow veranda. The 
girl slipped up the steps, and reached down her 
hand. " Good-by, Laurence." she said softly; 
" you must stop even thinking of me." 

He followed, clinging to the small white 
hand. 

IS3 



THIRTEEN MEN 



I 



" Molly," he whispered, " can't I wait? Tell 
me " — he was at her side. 

Suddenly a soft strain of music stole between 
the purdah and the door casement. Herbert felt 
the hand he held tremble. Involuntarily, on tip- 
toe, they stole to the curtained door. Just as 
they gained it Herbert's foot struck a chair and 
it clattered. 

Then a boy's voice came to their ears, saying: 
" Don't jump, Madgie; it's father's topee 
blowed from the rack again — it's always tum- 
bling." 

" I don't tare ; it s mean. Now your mudder'U 
doe away, and we'll has to doe to bed, 'tause 
there's no moosic. I wish my mudder's tum 
home, tause I'se so sleepy." 

Herbert felt the girl at his side shiver. 

" Let's go to bed, Madgie," the boy pleaded. 

" No, I'se doin' to wait for my mudder; I 
wants a tiss." 

" I wish my mother would kiss me, but she 
jes' plays for us, cause she's dead and can't come 
to kiss us. Your mother is going away to Cal- 
cutta, Madgie, and then you won't have any 
mother." 

"No; she's not." 

" Yes, ayah told me." 

" Den I'll doe, too." 

154 



THE NET OF LEO 

" I won't," replied the boy sturdily. " Your 
mother doesn't love me. I don't believe she 
loves you, Madgie, 'cause she never plays 
for us." 

" She tisses me sometimes, Ross. Folkses 
don't tiss you ef dey doesn't love you." 

" She's nice when she stays with us," offered 
the boy in the way of reparation. 

" She doesn't stay much with papa, neever; 
but papa loves her, and tourse she loves him, 
tourse everybody does." 

"Come to bed, Madgie; I'm awful sleepy. 
Papa'U be cross if he catches us here again." 

" I'se going to wait for my mudder; I want 
a tiss." 

Herbert felt a small hand catch him by the 
arm, and he was drawn silently along the ve- 
randa, and down the steps until he stood beside 
the crotons. 

" Good night, Laurence," the girl said, hold- 
ing out her hand. 

" When you go away, Molly " 

"I'm not going — ^you are; Cid is going to 
have you transferred." 
"Have me— what?" 

" Can't you understand ? Did you hear noth- 
ing? Don't you think God put the little chil- 
dren there to talk to us? " 

" 155 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Herbert's head drooped. " Good-by, Molly," 
he said; " you are a brave little woman — I was 
a coward; you are right." 

" I was also a great coward, Laurence, seeing 
evil shadows where there was only light. See 
how foolish I was — such a trivial thing has 
opened my eyes. Cid was going to send you 
away for my sake, but that was nonsense, Lau- 
rence. For your own sake I think you had better 
go. Good night; Madge is waiting for her kiss 
— good-by." 

He touched the hand he held with his lips, 
and went out through the riotous perfume of 
champac to the metaled road that was dreary in 
its hardness. 

The girl passed swiftly along the veranda. 
As her heels clicked on its hard floor she heard 
Madge's voice cry out: "Wait, Ross; here 
timis my mudder; wait 'til I det a tiss." 

What had come over her mother, Madge 
wondered; a thousand kisses lay upon the lips 
and eyes and cheeks; and hot tears rained upon 
the little face, and damped the curls. 

" Div Ross some, too, mudder," the child 
pleaded ; " Ros.^^ is awful lonesome because he 
tan't det no tiss from his mudder. You ain't 
doin' away, mudder, is you ? Ross told a fib dus 
to tease, didn't he?" 

IS6 



THE NET OF LEO 

to 1^°' •'i!'"'*'"*'' ""'' »^«*"rt. I'm going 
to stay with you and papa." * 

n^L^^JV """^''^y ^°y »° *«=» fibs," com- 

^;;hJsi'^^;.*'^-'^^^''''"-i"'i-Hc 

out of a r'l ; '"" ""° " ''''^'""'J °f love 
doJi vt !'' *^"'" °' "''8'«*' *«'> eyelids 
dosed with the pressure of mother lip,. a„d 
gentle hands that tucked them in with'tender 

thAV'''^''"'"*""'' ^'"y "" '^'de-eyed in 

In Z7 "^""'^ '''^"^ '^' «°°'' -d stole 
on tiptoe many times to their cots. The hours 

were ages; the night a span of life; even tim" 
eemed to sleep while Mary, incapable of eTt 
awaited the coming of Philip 

What would he say? In her own joyous 
transition she had not thought of this. ^ 

dre^ed as she was, upon a couch, and tried to 
seep She must have dozed. She found herself 
standing on the floor with an echo of music in 
her mind. Had she dreamed it? But it w« 
terribly real-it was ghostly. 
The light was breaking. She went out from 

red rubble drive. The breath of dawn was per- 
157 



K» 



i'l 



111 



THIRTEEN MEN 

fumed from the gentle kiu of jwrnine. From 
down the road a whir of rapid wheeli came to 
the girl't ear»; it would be Philip. She went 
inside and waited. Ai Philip came into the 
bungalow ahe stepped forward, and stood look- 
ing at him in silence. 

" You are up early, Mary," he uid. 
" I haven't been in bed." 
" What I And going on a journey? " 
" I'm not going, Philip." 
" You're not — " he stopped and looked at her 
as though he had nqt heard aright. 

" I want to — stay with you, and — the chil- 
dren — if you — if you wish it." She spoke with 
slow, timid emphasis. " I was wrong about my 
own feelings — I couldn't understand — I thought 
no one loved me here, but Madge does; and if 
you—" The girl stopped, lamely, trying to say 
what was in her heart. 

Philip knew he should answer— should say 
something; but bells were ringing in his ears; 
queer jumbled words, inanely empty, were con- 
fusedly rampant in his mind. He did just the 
wisest thing; he put his big strong arms about 
the stammering girl, and said: " Hushl Don't 
say anything more. I thought the bungalow 
looked so dreary in the gray morning; and now 
OGod, I am happy 1" 

158 



THE NET OF LEO 

When the love god tits between two people, 
iio'iding their hands, all troubles are brushed 
away with the fairy wand of trust. And in ail 
the girl's story of the night there was but one 
troublous thing— the weird music, for Philip 
himself had known of it. 

But the piano was forced to give up its secret. 
When Philip, in the way of investigation, re- 
moved the front, a silly mouse, diat had built a 
nest within, of the felt and strings, startled by 
the light, clattered up the vibrant wires and 
scuttled across the floor. 



«S9 



^1 



» 



MAHNET 

PHOBAH was king of the Yenan district. 
Yenan is halfway from Rangoon to 
Mandalay, in British territory; and 
Phobah was only a dacoit, yet he was king of the 
district. He took toll in rice or rupees or 
heads; or sometimes in all three, just as it 
pleased his pagan fancy. 

Langworth was siiperintendent of police and 
acting magistrate at Yenan. 

Phobah had the regular knight-of-the-road 
chivalry; he seized the goods of the rich, and 
when he had more than enough for himself and 
his merry men, he gave to the poor. 

The police were handicapped. No man came 
forth and told where Phobah was in hiding — 
the rich man because he was afraid of losing his 
head, and the poor man because Phobah fed 
him when he was hungry. All the same, this 
bandit king took a regular dacoit's delight in 
killing people who incurred his enmity. 

If Phobah was king of the jungles, his sister, 
Mahnet, was queen of the village. 

When Langworth first went to Yenan, no 
1 60 



MAHNET 

Europeani lived there, and the air, that wai 
empty of everything but the taint of native*, 
hung heavy on his soul. 

That was why Phobah's sister, Mahnet, who 
was really pretty, appeared more beautiful than 
anythmg else in the world— meaning, of course, 
the Yenan world. 

Burma is not as conventional as Belgravlj - 
not openly, at any rate; so Mahn.t rolled rhc 
roots for Langworth, and wov jasmine flowers 
j in her hair, and put the golden-hearted .himpa. 

blossoms m her ears, and wore the sl-y colored 
silk putsoes daintily and coquettishly, and ghzed 
the olive and rose of her cheek with sanJal- 
wood powder, all for the sake of the smart po- 
lice oflicer who talked gently to her with his full 
rich English voice. 

If Mahnet was pretty, Langworth was hand- 
some. The cavalry officer's beauty he had; tall 
and lithe and agile, blue eyes and blond hair, 
and the square, sun-browned jaw that made 
strong setting for the man beauty that was in 
the face. 

It was a cheap little heaven that Mahnet had; 
just to sit there and watch this man god through 
the rings of curling smoke, and sometimes to 
catch the music of his laughter as he chaffed her. 

But one thing bothered Mahnet. Phobah, 
l6i 



.r 



1^ ' 'i 

•ii 

I pi 

i li 



iH 



i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

who was her brother, was a dacoit, a bad daco!t, 
on whose head there was a price; and some day 
this god thakine, the superintendent, would go 
out with his soldier police after him, and there 
would be a fight. 

Twice Langworth went out with his Punjabi 
police after the dacoit chief; but they saw only 
the trail of the serpent — the blackened iron- 
wood posts of the bamboo houses he had burned. 
There were no fights, neither were any dacoits 
captured. 

So in Yenan itself there was much peace right 
up to the day Padre Hoskins came with his 
mission. 

Now Padre Hoskins knew of the home his- 
tory of Langworth; he knew there were broad 
acres and a manor house ; also the prospect of a 
title, with only two lives between. 

So, while Langworth watched for a chance 
to land Phobah, and incidentally attended to 
routine matters, Padre Hoskins set himself the 
task of putting the superintendent's household 
gods in order. 

Once started in that direction, Hoskins worked 
with feverish intentness. This intentness woke 
Langworth up — it was like playing a hose on a 
light sleeper. He had not thought of all the 
things the padre discussed with him in a seem- 
1 6a 



MAHNET 

ingly disinterested manner. If he had thought 
of them at all, it was only in a nebulous way; 
the only concrete thing in the whole bag of 
tricks was Mahnet, and she was pleasant. 

Hoskins was a past master at mental manipu- 
lation, and the tall dacoit fighter rvas no match 
for him at diat game. Even Mahi.st couldn't 
help him a bit, though she knew what was 
going on. 

But though Langworth was outclassed at this 
mental fencing, yet he was as bull-headed as— 
as— well, an Englishman. Hoskins could see 
that, or rather feel it. 

An inspiration came to him. He must have 
reenforcements; that was the key to the whole 
situation — he must have a woman to play off 
against Mahnet. So he sent to Rangoon for his 
niece, Florence, to come to Yenan to help him 
in his " missionary work." If Hoskins had not 
been a padre, he would have smiled a little when 
he wrote that — " missionary work." 

Mahnet knew why die white girl had come: 
just as the native news carriers beat out the tele- 
graph, Mahnet's subtle Oriental mind discov- 
ered this fact long before Langworth had the 
least suspicion of it. 

" Does my lord like the English lady? " she 
asked Langworth. 

163 



k 



8h s 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"Yes; she's a ripping fine girl ! How do you 
like her swagger frocks, Mahnet? Better than 
putsoes, aren't they? " 

These were things for Mahnet to think over 
—slowly, dreamily, in a proper Burmese man- 
ner, so she said nothing. And at the end of 
some of the thinking, Mahnet did a proper silly 
thing: she had some dainty muslin dresses made, 
and in anger stripped from the bronze, statu- 
esque limbs the clinging silk folds of the grace- 
ful putsoe, and imprisoned them in the skirts 
that were like the English lady's. 

Of course she couldn't eradicate all the grace 
that had come from years of freedom of limb, 
but si;e went a long way toward it ; and this little 
false play, trifling as it seemed, did considerable 
toward the realization that the padre had been 
working for. It was the illustration that went 
with his story of the incompatibility of this sort 
of thing in England. 

With the reenforcemti.is thrown into the field, 
the padre commenced to score. The sight of 
Florence's English face and high-bred manner 
reawoke the " caste " that had been bred in the 
bone of Langworth's English home life. 

Florence, to do her justice, knew nothing 
about this — that was why it was so effective; 
she was natural, and liked Langworth. 
164 



MAHNET 

A man couldn't fight against all this, so in the 
end the padre won, and Langworth became en- 
gaged to Miss Florence. 

So Mahnet spent most of her time now at her 
father's little bamboo house, because her lord 
wished it. And Langworth spent most of his 
time thinking out futile little schemes for break- 
ing off the thing effectually: a trip to Darjeeling 
would perhaps be the best way, with a sub- 
stantial recompense to Mahnet for her disap- 
pointment. 

Then suddenly, one sultry night, Ragathu, 
who was a village woon, came to the superin- 
tendent and whispered in fear that Phobah 
was hidden in the Zealat jungle, close to Raga- 
thu's village. His villagers had captured one 
of the dacoits, named Yaman, and Ragathu had 
brought him to Yenan. 

The dacoit was marched before Langworth. 
A proper cocoanut-headed villain he was. On 
his legs, from knee to hip, was much barbarous 
tattooing in blue and red ; snakes and big-tusked 
dragons fought each other on the great muscles 
of his sturdy thighs. The scar of a dahcut 
traced its unpleasant length down his cheek from 
ear to mouth. 

" Judging from the specimen," Langworth re- 
marked, " I should say they were a pretty tough 
165 



r 



i 




1 


J 
1 

v! 


■'if 


i. ■ 



(si i-i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

gang. No wonder you villagers drop your guns 
and run, if they're all as hideous as this gentle 
creature. What does he say for himself, Ra- 
gathu?" 

" He says, thakine, that if you will not take 
away his life, nor send him off to the Devil 
Island, where the Government puts the dacoits, 
he will show where Phobah and his jackals are 
hiding." 

" I thought so ; he looks a proper traitor. He 
ought to be shot out of hand. But Phobah is 
worth a bigger price than this sneak's useless life. 
Tell him that if he keeps his word, I'll try to get 
a pardon for him. But mark you, Ragathu, if 
I see anything suspicious, I'll kill him as I would 
a cobra. I don't want my Punjabis led into a 
trap. How far is it to the dacoit's camp? Ask 
him." 

" Four hours, thakine, he says." 

" Well, we had better nab Phobah to-night, 
then; he'll be gone in the morning." 

Yaman was closely guarded, and the sergeant 
of police given orders to line up fifteen picked 
Punjabis and get ready for a start immediately. 

Mahnet had heard that one of Phobah's men 

was at Langworth's bungalow, so she had come 

down to hear if evil had befallen her brother. 

Sitting out on the veranda, she had heard all 

i66 



MAHNET 

this talk, the bamboo walls were so thin — not 
thick enough to keep this misery from her heart. 
What a black cloud it was!— at last somebody 
would be killed I 

She sat huddled up on the floor, her face 
buried in the arms folded across the knees, the 
silly muslin dress drinking greedily the tears that 
dropped from the big dark eyes. She was think- 
ing, thinking, thinking. Phobah would be killed, 
or Langworth thakine would be killed. 

Suddenly she raised her head. Buddha would 
help her do that, help her prevent the killing. 

Yaman had been left in the bungalow, hand- 
cuffed to a policeman, while Langworth arranged 
for his men over at the thanna. Mahnet went 
in to where the dacoit and his guard were. 
" Quick, brother," she said in Yaman's jungle 
speech; " where is Phobah? " 

" What are you saying? " asked the Punjabi, 
for he did not understand the language. 

"I am asking how many men Phobah has 
with him," she replied, with Oriental diplomacy. 

"At the white pagoda that is where the nullah 
crosses the road from Zealat to Minbu," an- 
swered Yaman; and his red and yellow eyes 
lighted up furtively. 

"What does he say? " asked the policeman, 
suspiciously. 

I<7 



\f 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"He says Phobah has many men, and that 
the pohce must go very slowly and carefully, 
because the guns are always watching at the little 
path that leads through the jungle." 

Then Mahnct went out and sped'swiftly down 
into the Village to her father's house, where lived 
l-athu, her young brother. 

" Lathul Lathul " she called softly, just at 
the foot of the teak-wood steps. 

Lathu came down from the little house, his 
sandals knocking irritably at the hard wood of 
the primitive stairway. " What is it, little sis- 
ter r he asked. 

"Phobah is at the Zealat pagoda, and die 

tnakine is going out with the police. O Lathu 

somebody will be killed I" 

"It is four hours there," said Lathu, plain- 
Uvely. '^ 

"You arc afraid, then," sneered Mahnct, 
drawing back disdainfully. 

"I will go," answered Lathu, with decision; 
but Fhobah must go away— he must not siioot 
at the police." 

" Yes; tell him that Mahnet says he must not 
shoot at die police, because the thakine is Mah- 
net's brother." 

Over the government road that led to Raga- 
thu s viUage, tramp, tramp, tramp, with the 
1 68 






MAHNET 

stately military tread of soldier-bied Punjabis, 
the fifteen tall policemen marched through the 
thick, sensuous gloom of the Burmese night. At 
their head rode the superintendent on his gray 
Pegu pony, and between him and the policemen 
was Ragathu, the sergeant, and Yaman. 

At Ragathu's village they halted for a rest. 
It was twelve o'clock. The Pegu pony was left 
at the village, and the brown figures of Lang- 
worth and his men, with soft muffled steps, 
melted into the deep shadow of the Zealat 
jungle. In front of the column marched Lang- 
worth and the sergeant; between them the dacoit 
guide, Yaman. 

Down the Minbu road they moved softly, 
silently. The Punjabis had slipped off their big 
loose sandals and shoved them into the khaki 
blouses. The order for silence had been passed, 
and no one spoke — no one whispered. 

At the nullah that cut its little gorge across 
their way, Yaman touched Langworth on the 
arm, and they halted. With his lips close to the 
ears of the sergeant he whispered something. 
The sergeant spoke to Yaman, so low that no 
one heard. Then he put his face close to the 
superintendent's. "He says," whispered the 
sergeant, " that a path on the other hank of the 
nullah leads down to the white pagoda, that is 
169 



THIRTEEN MEN 






lii! 



in a thick jungle of bamboos. Beyond the pa- 
goda Phobah has a stocicade." 

" When we come to the pagoda," whispered 
back Langworth, "take six police and work 
around the back to cut off their retreat. I will 
charge them from in front. They will be sleep- 
ing, and we'll bag the lot." 

He touched Yaman, and the party moved 
down into the dark bottom of the nullah, over 
the little bridge, .:nd up on the farther bank. 
They turned sh.i'j to the left along the narrow 
ribbon of the jungle-hid path; they could only 
walk two abreast. 

Suddenly something rustled the hanging 
leaves of the drooping bamboos on their right. 
Langworth cocked his revolver and half-turned. 
Then they moved forward again. 

As they started, a sharp bird-whistle sounded 
at Langworth's elbow; he could have sworn it 
was Yaman giving a signal a step behind him. 
Wheeling like a flash he stretched out his hand 
for the dacoit's throat. His fingers clutched the 
sergeant — Yaman had gone. 

Then again that sharp hissing note sounded 
from the jungle on their left. 

" Forward I Quick march ! " he commanded. 

Too late. Hell belched forth; its hot 
breath scorched their faces. The sergeant 
170 



MAHNET 

pitched forward on hii head— diot through 
the heart. 

Langworth felt a pair of red-hot pincen grab 
the tendons of his right arm, and tear them 
down, down to the elbow. The arm hung use- 
less as a withered leaf— a slug had shattered die 
bone. And something was ripping at his breast 
widi a knife or a jagged nail; it seared his flesh 
and clutched at his lungs— they were choking. 

A glaring flame darted out and withered his 
cheek; the light was burned out of his eyes. 

The leaderless Punjabis were charging like 
madmen dirough the jungle; firing, and mixing 
up indiscriminately with spearlike bamboos that 
had been planted in a bayonet wall about Pho- 
bahs nest. But after the first volley Phobah 
and his men had melted into the waste of dark- 
ened jungle. Pursuit was useless. 

Tenderly the baflied police picked up their 
fallen leader and the sergeant, and started back 
dejectedly over the road to Ragathu's village. 
There a charpoy was improvised as a litter, and 
with swinging tread the silent men bore Lans- 
worth to Yenan. 

Mahnet had been waiting like a frightened 
bird for the police to come back out of the 
jungle. 

"The sahib will die," said the Punjabi Naik 
« 171 



THIRTEEN MEN 

who wai in charge lince the sergeant's death. 
Somebody betrayed ui to Phobah; his men 
shot from the jungle before we came to the pa- 
goda, and the sergeant is already dead. The 
Mhib will die also; because there is nobody here 
but the guru sahib, who is a fool, and knows only 
to pray. The doctor sahib is at Minbu, which is 
twenty miles, and so our captain will die." 

Now Ungworth had a race pony, and in three 
minutes Mahnet was galloping on the road to 
Mmbu. In an hour and a half she was there; 
and die civil surgeon, who was a Bengali baboo, 
was having it explained to him that if he did not 
go quick to Yenan, Phobah, the dacoit, would 
crucify him to please Mahnet. 

So in three hours more, just as the blar^faced 
sun was slipping down behind the Yomas, the 
baboo was picking twisted slugs from the torn 
holes diat were in Langwordi's arms and chest 
and legs. 

" He will die," said the baboo, cheerfully, 
with soulless brevity, " because of the proper 
shooting of the dacoits. What can I, who am 
but a civil surgeon, do, when the fusillade had 
been conducted with such commendable preci- 
«on? Also are the damn slugs corkscrewed into 
him with beastly linuosity. 
" In die morning he will be defunct; there- 
172 



MAHNET 

fo« you mu.t arrange about «,n,c futurity mat 
ter,, becauM the demi« may be ,ccTr7J 1 
»ny time. Al«, do not keen fhVu t ," 
optical inflammation ha. t«„t '"^ ^"'' ^°' 
of Phobah'. .hort L •• '^'"^ °" """« 

chacforLang^lrtt *'^""«'''""<l'din 
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THIRTEEN MEN 



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a strange mixture of petulant humor and seri- 
ousness : 

"The baboo's an ass — always was; but I'm 
afraid he's right this time; it's usually big odds 
the other way. I'm not going to give up — 
that's no good; but still we'd better fix things 
a bit, if you'll help. Oh, hang it I I shouldn't 
mind if I'd bagged that beast Phobah, and 
hadn't lost the sergeant — poor devil! I won- 
der who sent the dacoits word we were coming? 
I'd like to know that. 

" There's a bit of land at home, and if I don't 
fix it, Basil — ^you remember him — deuced bad lot 
— will come in for it, and make ducks and drakes 
of the whole business. It wouldn't do him a bit 
of good either — ^wouldn't last long. We must 
save the acres so they'll be of benefit to some- 
body who deserves it. It's about time I did 
something decent. Would Florence mind if we 
were married to-night? " 

" Robert — " commenced the padre, dis- 
tressedly. 

" Don't bother I " broke in Langworth, petu- 
lantly. " If the baboo's right, I'll snuff out by 
morning, so don't upset what ought to be, be- 
cause of form scruples. Send for Florence, 
that's a good man. She won't mind if I'm torn 
up a bit. Afterward you must fix up the papers 
174 



). i|i 



lU 



MAHNET 

leaving even^thing to her-bar a thousand 
pounds for Mahnet: she deserves something, 
too-I m afraid I've treated her beastly bad. 
Now hurry this up and don't bother, for it's 
shppery go.ng, and I may take a header at any 
moment." ' 

The padre stopped out on the back veranda 
and called the orderly. " Bring the mems.hib, 
quick "he said. " Your captain's order." 

Then he went back and sat beside Langworth, 
and waited. Presently a step sounded on A^ 
graveled road at the veranda. She had come, 
ihe padre rose and went to the door. He 
could see the shadowy figure of the girl in the 
dusk of the gathering night. " Come here, my 
dear, he said, softly; " Robert wants you.'« 

As she came forward in the gray of the un- 
lighted room, droopingly, he whispered: "He 
w«hes to make you his wife to secure the prop- 

bitterly hard to be cut off in his prime by those 

M^trwillT''""' "" ' '""-^ ^'^^ ^'^ 
Then he stepped up to the cot, and bent over 

the man Iy.„g there with his eyes bandaged. 
She has come " he said, softly. " Shall we 

proceed with the ceremony; is it really your 

*75 



■M 



THIRTEEN MEN 

" Yes; hurry up, or wc may be short a bride- 
groom," answered Langworth. " Come here, 
little woman. Deuced good of you to come. 
Sorry I can't see you; my eyes are bunged up." 

The girl slipped to her knees beside the figure, 
which was almost swallowed up in the shadow 
of the coming night. The wounded man heard 
the soft rustle of the dress, and stretched his left 
hand gropingly toward her. She caught the 
hand in both her own, and covered it with sob- 
bing kisses. The hot tears scalded it. 

" Don't cut up,' girl," said Langworth. " I 
think I'll pull through in spite of the baboo and 
Phobah; but we've got to do this thing for fear 
of accidents, you know." 

" Shall we go on without a light? " asked the 
padre; "the baboo has forbidden one in the 
room." 

" Yes," answered Langworth. " I like the 
gloom — it rests me." 

Impressively the tall, slender padre, with 
strained voice, repeated the solemn sentences 
which joined them together till death should 
them part. Only a few hours at the most, per- 
haps a few minutes, it might be till the parting 
would come. 

"Now, girl," said Langworth, when the 
padre ceased speaking, " I'm glad that is sct- 
176 



MAHNET 

tied. We must make a strung fight to get over 
these cuts. You'll be all right at home if I don't 
pull through." 

It was a strange marriage— pluck and misery, 
and perhaps just a little worldly satisfaction on 
the part of Padre Hoskins to relieve his genuine 
sorrow at the almost certain loss of a friend. 

"It doesn't seem very regular," said the 
clergyman, as he thought canonically of the 
usual routine, " but the circumstances must be 
considered." 

" It's all right," answered Langworth, wea- 
rily; " I'm glad I pulled through it. Give me a 
drink, please. Hurry the papers— they'll need 
my name to them." 

" You'll remain w . your husband, my dear, 
until I return," said the padre, softly. " I'll 
send the doctor to help you with Robert." 

As he stepped off the veranda hastily he fairiy 
ran into somebody. 

^^ "O uncle I" a frightened voice exclaimed; 
" you nearly knocked me down. I came over to 
see how Mr. Langworth is. The doctor says he 
is dangerously wounded." 

Hoskins stood petrified with astonishment 
for an instant; then he spoke in a voice of won- 
der: "You — you — Florence? You — ^weren't 
— in the room just now? " 
177 



THIRTEEN MEN 

"Why, no, uncle; I've just come from the 
bungalow." 

" My God! whom, then, have I married to 
Robert? " as a horrible suspicion flashed through 
his mind. "It must be— the— other— Mah- 
net." 

He turned and passed quickly to the door of 
Langworth's room. Just inside he stopped, 
awed by the sight of a blurred picture. 

Drooping over t^e cot in broken misery was 
the slight figure of the woman he had joined in 
marriage to the dying man. The unwounded 
left arm was thrown about her neck. The hush 
of the little room was broken by plaintive sobs, 
and a man's voice was saying: " It's a terrible 
mix-up, Mahnet— why did you do it, girl? I 
can't blame you, though. It seems like fate. 
You can't beat out fate — nobody can." 

It seemed to the listener that there was more 
of resignation than regret in the voice. And 
Mahnet was sobbing. 

The padre turned, and taking Florence gently 
by the hand, said, " Come home with me, dear; 
I will come back to Robert presently." 

In the morning Langworth was still alive 

and that night— and the next morning; and as 

the days went by he grew stronger and stronger, 

and Mahnet nursed him back to life. The doc- 

178 



MAHNET 

tor said it was the nursing that pulled him 
through. 

Only the light that had been scorched out of 
the eyes never came back; and the right :irm was 
gone. But Mahnet didn't mind that; she was 
happy. 

Afterward the padre learned that Mahnet had 
come into her own innocently enough; it was his 
amateur Hindoostanee that was at fault. He 
should have said, " Bring the Missie Baba," not 
the " memsahib." Then the orderly would not 
have gone for Mahnet, thinking the padre 
wanted her. 



179 



i 



i il 



v. •* 



FINNERTY OF THE ELEPHANT 
KEDDAH 

SOME day a man will come out of India 
and write a book about Major Finnerty 
of the Elephant Keddah. Then this 
story will be last 'in the book, because of the 
thing that is in the story. 

The " Major " was Finnerty's " ranking," 
for he had been out of the regiment since he was 
a sub-lieutenant. 

Finnerty was the strongest man in the Indian 
Service ; and sober his strength was a forbearing 
delight; drunk he was a tribulation. Liquor 
floated his mentality to some ir st dead sea of 
oblivion, and his physical force guided him 
illogically, a rampageous gorilla. 

Knowing of this thing himself, and in avve of 
the blank anger of the Sircar, he stuck to pina-k- 
pani (water) in the the jungle; leaving the othsr 
till he got his month of leave in Calcutta. 

The Keddah Sahib's rer own had gone from 

Manipur to Herat, and from Simla to Cape 

Comorin. Punjabi wrestlers came from the 

" Land of the Five Rivers," end wept with joy 

1 80 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

when they looked at the six-foot-three Irishman. 
They stroked his huge muscles lovingly, and 
exclaimed " Wah-wah I " Then, when they had 
been thrown, they would go back to their own 
caste, and tell of the one sahib that should have 
been a Sikh Rajah. That was Finnerty of the 
Elephant Keddah. 

And Chota Moti was a grunty little babe 
elephant that Finnerty had captured in the As- 
sam jungles. 

Out of consanguinity of temperament these 
two took to each other like blood relatives. For 
a year Finnerty made a pet of Chota Moti; and 
then the official who writes on paper what is to be 
done with the Government's elephants passed an 
order that Chota Moti, being rseless for work, 
should be sold with other cast animals. Wilson! 
the circus man, bought the babe, and she passed 
from Dhuttaghur to a canvas home on the big 
maidan in Calcutta. Then when the hot weather 
blew its sirocco breath across the City of Pal- 
aces, the viceroy and the sahibs trooped up to 
the Himalayas, and the circus folded its tei.t and 
stole away to Australia. 

The going of Chota Moti from Dhuttaghur 

left a blank in the life of the Keddah Sahib. If 

he could have filled the void with some strong 

essence of forgetfulness, he might not have 

i8i 



I i^ 




THIRTEEN MEN 

missed the little hathi so much, but he dare not 
even smell the stuff— it would have led to slaug. 
ter; for Dhuttaghur and natives and elephanu 
and delirium-laden jungle fever wasn't Calcutta 
and the white men of his own caste, by any 
means. 

In September Finnerty read in the Calcutta 
^sian that the circus was daily expected from 
Australia. Then ^he devil of restlessness drew 
at the soul of the Irishman, till he became like 
a muggar that forsakes his pool in the Ganges 
and travels far across land. 

" Faith, I can't stand it," he growled. " I'll 
go kharab (bad) if I stay here." 

He applied for leave, and when it came passed 
with celerity from Dhuttaghur to the city of 
rejuvenation. 

" Now, my little pig-squeaker, I'll feed you 
nuts and taparees till your sides bulge," Finnerty 
muttered, as he donned clean raiment in his 
room m the Great Eastern Hotel. Then he 
drove to the maidan. The green sward stretched 
away m unbroken flatness to the escarpment of 
Fort William; no flag-topped, white-walled tent 
met the Keddah Sahib's eyes; the circus had not 
arrived; there was no little trumpet of welcome 
for Finnerty from Chota Moti. 
But Calcutta was not Dhuttaghur, and there 
182 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

was the other thing to be had, the solace of many 
pegs. So the Keddah Sahib became one to 
avoid. 

It was all play, for no man might ipeak out 
of h.s memory that he had seen Finnerty cross. 
But such play I Tom coats and bruised limbs 
are jokes to read about, not to come by. Be- 
cause of h.i giant strength, no man showed an- 
ger to the Keddah Sahib, and Finnerty held 
anger against no man. 

The trouble commenced over a new sahib- 
one who had lately < ; to Calcutta, and 
knew not of Finnerty and his ways. He was a 
seller of wares from Birmingham, and every 
man m that town thinks he can box. So Ham- 
merton put hin„elf on guard when Finnerty, 
with h.s huge arKis spread, swept through the 
cafe tiffin room in a friendly charge. The 
sahibs that knew ducked and scuttled and 
laughed and swore, and it was fun— for Fin- 
nerty. The drive proceeded with exuberant 
success till :he man from Birmingham stood in 
the way. 

"Ay, there, me 'earty," he called wamingly, 
as his fists swung into proper pose. 

Finnerty stared. Was there ever such luck? 
He rubbed his eyes doubtingly. Here was a 
man inviting a grapple. Not since the Keddah 
183 



':t 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Sahi^ had graiMd the last Punjabi had he felt 
the joyou. thrill of .training muscle, against hi. 
chest The sahibs of Calcutta were weakling, 
that fell away m disordered limpness from the 
clutch of his brawny hands. 

"HivinsI but you're a darlin'I" cried Fin- 
nerty in his exuberant joy. " I could love you. 
man; its a britle of Simpkin ^e'll be havin' 
presently. In the' meantime, look out, me buck. 
1 m chargin' 

« For they c«U it limimde in Billyhooly.* " 

The ''Balljhooly" wa, like the trumpet of 
one of his own elephants; indeed, Finnerty's rush 
was entirely like that, and die Birmingham gent 
was seized by the vest, and the upper story of 
his trousers, swung from his feet, lifted to die 
end of die long tiffin table, all set for lunch, and 
then the table was swept from er.u to end. Mul- 
ligatawny and beer and claret and Worcester 
sauce and many other liquids formed a lake 
on the marble floor that was pebbled with frag- 
ments of bottles and broken dishes. 

" Now, me darlin'," cried die audior of the 
mischief, " we'll drink a bottle of wine to show 
there's no ill will." 
The merchant's white suit was gaudy with 
184 



FINNERTY OF the KEDDAH 

the purple .tain of claret and the biliou. „een 
of mull.g,uwny; and hi. hair held ZryZd 
there wa. Worcester sauce in hi, eye, and the 

daTs,h\" "" "" °J ''' '°'y- So to'th' K 5 
of th. 1' »«°""'»""t. he walked sulkily out 
of the roo turning at the door to curse thl 

"f" w f "'I'. ' ^"""''■•'™^ of ^Xy 

like L K .1 ." T'^ ''" ""P^y he stood 

table anH^h '^ "-'"iringly at the desolate 
s^^^ha^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

"When the glory', pdmed up, 
Wh..'. the tally in Ae bloody he.p of d«„ , 

Now you-re drunk, you Irish pup. 
And you'll never get your .tripe. „o „,ore ,g«„. 

For the Lunenck. .re rough-very rough. " 

nesfhewt''^ """"'' */ *'*" "°'"'- '»» --"Pti- 
ness held no promise of entertainment- it, still 
new oppressed him. He passed a W t hi' 
and up to the billiard room humming? " 

" ^''«n the "Uiging cable', ftd 

With the tally of the awfUl Butcher'. Bill 
In their wbered tunic, .reared with dirty r^. 

Count the Irirf. on the cre.t of every hUl, 
For the Lunericb are dead-mo.tly dead " 
185 



i;r 



I' it 

i i' i 



lip 



THIRTEEN MEN 

As he entered the room two sahibs laid their 
cues on the table, took their helmets, and slipped 
through the other door. 

The Irishman looked at the button-strung 
wire over the table. The score showed that the 
sahibs had left their game half-finished. On 
a side table stood two glasses, half-full. 

Finnerty laughed; then he stretched his huge 
form in a chair ai^d ordered a bottle of " Mono- 
pole." 

" Faith, it's too bad entirely," he muttered; 
" sure I'd like to split this bottle with that gen- 
tleman of the zebra coat." 

As the Keddah Sahib drank, a hotel peon 
appeared, and, salaming deeply, handed him 
a note. It was a bill for sixty-eight rupees 
breakage. 

" Sure, shikarri comes high in Calcutta," Fin- 
nerty remarked, as he scrawled his signature 
across the bill and passed it to the peon. 

Before he had emptied his glass a private 
servant appeared with another missive. It was 
a request that Mr. M. J. Finnerty would se 'd 
by bearer twenty-four rupees, value of a suit he 
had ruined. 

The Keddah Sahib laughed. " Faith, that's 
rich," he muttered. " The bounder must be a pro- 
fessional; he wants pay for an amateur bout." 
i86 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

Finnerty tore the note and threw it at the 
servant, intimating that he and his master might 
take a trip to a worse climate than Calcutta. 
The native disappeared. And presently the 
khitmutghar handed to Finnerty a third neatly 
folded sheet of paper. This was distinctly dis- 
courteous in tone; it intimated that M. J. Fin- 
nerty was a man of low caste; that he had struck 
the writer's servant; that he had been rude to 
the sahib himself; that he had committed an 
assault; that he had refused to pay a legitimate 
charge for damages sustained and that now he 
was about to be punished. 
„ "^?^' ^^^ darlin'," Finnerty murmured; 
"I'm in luck— me, that was so lonesome. Och, 
I'm happy entirely. He'll be spankin' Finnerty 
—the darlin' 1 " 

The beady champagne boiled up in the Irish- 
man and threw a vapor of ecstasy to his brain. 
He sang softly: "Oh, the fightin' boys that 
come from Limerick, from Limerick, from 
Limerick 1 " Then he called: " Here, khitmut- 
ghar, bring me the toy man that fetched this 
chittie — I'll be givin' him a rupee." 

" That bearer he's plenty much 'fraid, Hu- 
zoor." 

" Faith, I'll not touch him. Sure, I'm a mem- 
sahib, I'm that gentle— just holdin' meself for 
18 187 



:| 



:H! 



THIRTEEN MEN 

what's to come. Stand him by the door the 
till I malce bat (talk) with him; then you'll b 
givin' him this rupee." 

By the persuasiveness of silver the servant 
was coaxed to the door, and Finnerty made the 
bat, which was : 

" Give your sahib my salams, and tell him 
that I'll be waitin' in room seven, on the second 
floor, just dyin' with the joy of seein' him. Tell 
your master that Finnerty Sahib is just dyin' to 
be punished — altogether hungry for it." 

The servant slipped away; the Keddah Sahib 
finished his wine, and, more or less troubled by 
its wavering influence, passed to the second floor, 
muttering, as he went : " Oh, but I ought to 
telegraph to Healey at Dhuttaghur that I'm 
goin' to be chastised I " 

Down the dim corridor Finnerty swung, full 
of the exhilarating prospect ahead of him. He 
pushed back the purdah of a doorway and 
passed into the room. Had he looked at the 
number he would have seen it was nine, but the 
rooms were all alike in their primitive simplicity, 
and he was deeply interested in other matters. 
His foot struck against a pair of riding boots 
standing in the middle of the floor. Finnerty 
kicked them through the purdah to the hall, 
muttering : " That Abdul is a budmash ; I'll fine 
i88 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

hin, eight annas for leavin' mc boots therc-I 
might have broken me neck." 

He threw his coat and helmet on a chair 
Jgh ed a cheroot, and stretched himself on J.e 
bed to wa,t for a visitation of justice. I„ trutih 
the man from Birmingham had probably m«„t 
oure b ess; but such a thing L law waT^ 
side the cognizance of the Keddah Sahib- he 
was a law unto himself. ' 

m,3? ''^,co'"in• presintly," Finnerty mur- 
mured drows. y as the many potations tugg/d 
at h.s eyehds. " but hurry, you darlin'." ^^ 

ihen he thought regretfully of the physical 
TVu' f^^' Englishman. After all, there 

iufpotsZ "'""'"'''''"^''"^'^P-''^^ 
" "'^'"^ ' P'"PS he'll bring a friend. Faith 
Jen there wil be fun. P'raps he will-by Je 
f^:;" He's sure to. Yes, there'll be Iport 

as trAnd '^■"""'"'^ '^'' °'"' "^ '^'^ "^'^ kind, 
as b.g and smewy as a Punjabi wrestler, came 
^ d gnpped h™, and the strength of the stran! 

e 'stasvTf '" k" "'''f '' •"='"« ''•*™^ ^'* the 

-4ioraf'°'^'°^°"-'-^"^"«'^- 

189 



m 



THIRTEEN MEN 

As Finnerty slept, a man as big as the Red- 
dah Sahib, clad in a towel and pajama pants, 
stepped from a bath room at the end of the 
hall. It was Colonel Le Messurier; and if 
Finnerty was the strongest man in the service, 
Le Messurier was the handsomest, and almost 
as strong. 

The colonel slipped quietly along to Number 
9. He stared when he saw his riding boots lying 
drunkenly in the corridor, and muttered, " The 
devil take that bearer I " as he passed through 
the purdah. 

Inside the room he stared again. On his bed 
lay a huge, rumpled creature snoring volumi- 
nously. A lighted cheroot was sizzling in the 
pillow case. 

"By Jove! of all the infernal cheek! " ex- 
claimed the indignant colonel. Then b" laid a 
heavy hand upon the sleeper's arm, and Fin- 
nerty's eyes opening fell upon a pair of satin- 
skinned shoulders as broad as a gladiator's. 

The Irishman sprang to his feet. " Och, you 
boy — you've come ! " ne cried joyously, as he 
looked straight into a pair of blue-gray eyes that 
were on a level with his own. " Faith, an* 
you're ready for business," as his eye took in 
the fighting trim of the stranger, who was 
stripped to his waist. 

190 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

"What are you doing here?" queried the 
gladiator. 

" Waitin' for you, you darlin' I " 
"Waiting for me, eh?" The gladiator 
dropped the boots and surveyed the dusty im- 
print of Finnerty's feet on his bed. " Get out I " 
he said. 

The Keddah Sahib laughed, and tightened his 
belt. 

" Come, leave the room I You've got a devil- 
ish c«-tek." 

For answer Finnerty slapped him on the chest 
with the flat of his hand, as is the method of 
wrestle's, sprang back, and crouched, his eyes 
wide with delight at the gladiator's excellence 
of form. Never had he seen in India such a 
man; tall as himself, lithe and supple, not tied 
with knotty muscles, but the biceps and the tri- 
ceps and the broad flat fore arm big and smoodi 
and covered with pink-white skin that was like 
a woman's. 

^^ "You blackguard," cried the gladiator. 
" Leave the room, or, by Jove, I'll throw you 
out." 

"Begin, you dariin'; I'm cryin' with joy. 
You're the loveliest boy— for the love of God 
begin; I'm cryin' with joy." 

There was a shimmer of white skin and a 
191 






I - 



m 



» ii: 



THIRTEEN MEN 

hand of steel grasped the wrist of the Keddah 
Sahib's guard and the tussle was on. It was an 
affair of equality; the scarcity of furniture con- 
duced to freedom of action. 

In vain Finnerty had drained the Punjaub for 
a man of his own might; and here, in the grasp 
of a chanceling, his strength was held in check, 
and his art was matched by art, and his 
bones creaked, and his muscles strained, and 
he had come by sjiort such as he had dreamed 
of. 

Finnerty's shirt hung in shreds. Once he 
found time to strip die collar from his swelling 
neck; once the gladiator, fastening in his belt, 
lifted him from die floor and started toward 
the door. Then they were on die mat and Fin- 
nerty|s breath, made thick by his too generous 
potations, blew hot and strong against the pink 
chiek of the gladiator. 

It was an accident — Finnerty would have 
given a month's pay to have it undone— but his 
hand slipped on the moist skin, and lifted a welt 
over the gladiator's eye. 

"You blackguard I You cadi" he heard 
panted through the set teeth of the gladiator, 
and a knee knuckled his ribs as he turned. 

Finnerty took " to the bridge " for a breath- 
ing space, and a smooth hand glided beneath 
191 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

his armpit, and a hot palm lay against the back 
of his neck. 

A desolating regret filled the soul of the Ked- 
dah Sahib, as he waited cooling his lungs. Here 
was the opportunity of a lifetime, and he rank 
out of condition. 

" Curse the beer sharab I Why did I touch 
it? " he moaned inwardly. " I'm an old wom- 
an — I'm a punkah cooly — I'm a fat baboo — 
that's what I am 1 " 

Then he was woven sideways till his spine 
was like a corkscrew, and another hand came 
up between his legs and laid him by the 
thigh. 

"Och, you laddie-buckl" he muttered; 
" you're the fairest play boy from over the sea, 
and I'll promise you this, that if me shoulder 
touch the mat, I'll walk out like a lamb an 
give you me own room." 

Then like a wire jack-in-the-box Finnerty 
spiraled straight through the holding arms and 
was up on top of a strong-bridged back that 
was like chiseled ivory. 

" Rest a bit, you darlin' ! Rest a bit, you 
boyl " he said; " it's yourself that's up to die 
game." 

Finnerty looked longingly at the opening he 
saw for die " strangle hold"; he shut his eyes 
193 



i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

to put the temptation from him— the gladiator 
played the game too fair for a trick. 

There was a full half-hour of this joyous en- 
tertainment; the first fierce onslaught and careless 
taking of chances had passed away and decorum 
graced the game. Also there was a suspicion of 
lethargy creeping into the huge muscles that had 
strained assiduously. 

Because of the frivolous week, Finnerty's con- 
dition commenced \o tell. Had he been chasing 
hathis in the jungle during that time, the bout 
would have lasted perhaps till midnight. How- 
ever, it was now suddenly terminated by a bustle 
of people at the room door. 

The gladiator loosed his grip and sprang 
ninbly back, and the Keddah Sahib, rising, saw 
the hotel manager— in fact, the hall thronged 
with sahibs and the hotel staff, who gazed with 
a mixture of awe and amusement upon the 
wrestlers. 

The colonel's silk pajamas were no more than 
an apology; while Finnerty, from the belt up, 
was a muscular statu? of hand-spanked flesh. 

" Och, Tremaime! " Finnerty began, but the 
manager interrupted him with a concise repri- 
mand. No more wild Irish elephant-catchers 
for the Great Eastern; Finnerty had wrecked a 
tiflSn table, made a bear's garden of the cafe, 
194 






FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

and now the whole hotel had been thrown into 
confusion by his assault upon Colonel Le Mes- 
suner. Indeed, the Keddah Sahib was invited 
to adjourn to some other hotel, where they 
looked more kindly upon such proceedings 

It was the Colonel Sahib's voice interniptinii 
the manager: " If this person is quite finished 
with my room, I should like to dress." 

, " r?r 7°™— *^'« 'oom? " queried the Ked- 
dah ijahib, looking from one to the other. 
" Yes," answered Tremairne. 
Finnerty looked at the number on the door, 
and the enormity of his transgression swept him 
into unspeakable shame. He gathered his coat 
and helmet; in the hallway he said : " And that's 
Colonel Le Messurierl Sure, I thought it was 
a pug that Brummagem swine had hired to give 
me a turn. And I've been touseling Colonel 
Le Messuner that's just been transferred as 
Collector of Dhuttaghur. I might've known it 
—1 ve heard of him. Me soul's watered to 
take a throw out of him-I might've known it. 
«ut he s a swine with his pride— I've heard that 
too. Faith, I'll be broke; I might as well go 
down and feed meself to the muggars in 
Hooghly River." 

The Keddah Sahib, depressed to the edge of 
misery, sat alone in his room and brooded over 
I9J 



ij 



THIRTEEN MEN 

the trouble he had brought upon himKlf. A 
physical struggle bearing the fruitage of a black 
eye or a strained tendon or even a broken limb 
was a small matter; but to lay subordinate hands 
of violence upon his Burra Sahib, Collector of 
Dhuttaghur, bung up his eye, and leave his silk 
pajamas in tatters, make an exhibition of him 
before other sahibs, was something that would 
set a black mark against his Service name many 
a year to come. A^ last here was something he 
could not leave behind him in Calcutta, for daily 
he would come face to face with the offended 
Burra Sahib, and everyone in Dhuttaghur would 
know. Yes, the idea of the muggan in the 
Hooghly was a good one. 

He drank a strong whisky peg — then he 
drank another; he drank three. For the first 
time in his remembrance the liquor held a re- 
verse action, it depressed him, it put him in an 
ugly mood. He cursed the innocent cause of 
his trouble; he swore jungle oaths at the land 
and the people of the land. 

Mechanically his thoughts came back in 
yearning- to Chota Moti. Yes, that was all he 
was fit for — homing with elephants; they were 
big and rough in their way like himself. He 
filled his pockets with the sweets intended for 
Moti, muttering to himself: " Hivins, I'm bluel 
196 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

I must talk to somebody or something. I'll go 
kharab thinkin' of the cooly-headed fool I am 
entirely." 

When he went downstairs the sahibs shunned 
him. Finnerty passed out into the street that 
skirted the maidan. He saw men at work on the 
spot where the circus always stood, and some 
one said that the circus would be there on the 
morrow. 

Finnerty swung on toward the river, where 
the thick-foiiage trees of " Eden Garden " cut 
a sky that was like burnished copper I'rom the 
huge ball of fire that had seared its face in the 
west. The gray wall of the garden lay like 
a shadowy serpent beneath trees, in which ati 
army of crows fought and clamored over night 
resting places. Finnerty swung to the right 
along a skirting path that was silent and hushed, 
save for the vociferous crows. 

Suddenly a gray, earth-colored form looir.ed 
bulkily in front of him. It was like a leaf- 
covered Hindoo cart; it was a bulgy form like 
an abnormal bhesti's water mussock. The gro- 
tesque shadow was on the grassed roadside, close 
to the garden wall, and some part of it was 
pulling and breaking the overhanging tree 
limbs. 

As the Keddah Sahib approached, wonder- 
197 



J , 



II V r il 



THIRTEEN MEN 

ingly, he cut the wind, and the wind took up 
the call of hit icent. The tearing rustle of dis- 
membered leaves ceased; there was a moment 
of stillness; then, "Phr-u-i-i, phr-u-t-t, whee- 
e-e I came little inquiring grunts. 

"HivinsI" ejaculated Finnerty; "by me 
•oul, that's little Moti. I'd know her laugh if 
I heard it in hell. Wow, you little pig, you I 
You darlin'— you babel Where did you come 
from? Godin.hivinI But you're welcome 
to-night, Moti— I'm fair starved with 1- v 
someness." 

Finnerty ran his hand caressingly up and down 
the trunk that felt at his cheek, and fingered 
his nose, and blew a smile of delight against his 
lips, and tugged at his shoulder lovingly; and 
all the time its owner was squeaking tremulously 
in an ecstasy of reiognition. 

" Moti, you little pig— you rascal! Where 
did you come from ? " 

The big ears flapped and fanned his face, and 
the heavy forehead lay against the IrisI man's 
chest, and the little eyes twinkled happily— even 
in the dusk Finnerty could feel their gleam. 

"Och, you sly little pearl I" As Moti 
fumbled her trunk into his pocket, and shoved 
taparees and grapes and raisins into her thin- 
lipped mouth. 

198 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

Finnerty threw himKlf on the gran at the 

elephant's feet and heaved a ligh of iatisfaction. 

" Divil the care have you, girl, whether I've 

touKled the Burra Sahib or not. Och, you're 

a human — you're better." 

The big Iri»hman patted the trunk of the 
babe elephant, and talked like a man who had 
come back to women folks that are true for- 
ever, holding no knowledge of misdeeds, nor of 
anything but just fealty. 

And Moti emptied the Sahib's pockets, and 
bubbled in content, and wound her trunk be- 
neath his shoulders as though she would lift him 
to her back. 

Suddenly Moti cocked her ears, threw her 
trunk into the air, and stood in slknt listening. 
^^ "What is it, old girl?" Finnerty asked. 
"Are they after you? Sure, I know your se- 
cret, you little pig, you've skipped away at the 
landin' from the steamer; you've played me the 
same trick many a time at the keddah. Come 
on, then, girl; we'll just slip them for a bit." 

Finnerty led the way through a gate in the 
wall, and with Moti's trunk over his shoulder 
walked along the circular path that skirted the 
wall. He could hear the band down on the 
grassed parade of the garden, and see the blare 
of electric lights breaking through the foliage. 
199 






THIRTEEN MEN 

Suddenly above the drone of brass came a shrill 
trumpet note. 

The Keddah Sahib stopped and threw his 
head up in alarm. It was the war trump of an 
elephant— fighting mad; he knew it well. Mot! 
squeaked in fretful fear. 

" My God, Moti, did the whole show break 
loose? Sure, that's a bull on the rampage. God 

save the people " 

Again tht shrill trumpet of an elephant came 
from the direction of the promenade. 

"Come, Moti, chalo (hurry), me darlin'I 
There'll be murder done yonder— there's women 
and children there by the score; hurry, Moti I " 
Finnerty broke into a trot, and the babe ele- 
phant shuffled at his side. Now they were clesir 
of the crotons and the banyans, and in the glare 
of the electric-lighted promenade the sahib saw 
something that made even his stout Irish heart 
miss a beat. It was awful. Like a heap of 
broken dolls, children and ayahs and white 
women cowered on one side of the wide grass 
promenade against a holding wall, and on the 
other side, just beyond the two gateways, was 
the read, a seething mass of maddened horses 
and fear-crazed coachmen, and sahibs who had 
lost their nerve, and cursed and yelled unintel- 
ligible orders, and clambered into carriages that 
200 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

were not their own. And in the center of the 
velvet lawn, just within the gate, was the huge 
towering form of an elephant weaving his body 
back and forth, from side to side, his ears cocked 
forwaid angrily, his trunk now curling in be- 
tween his tusks as if for a charge, now stretched 
sinuously upward as he bellowed his defiance to 
everything on earth. 

"Oh, my Godl" moaned Finnerty, "he's 
fair crazed with the lights and the band and all. 
How'll I stop him? The fools— the damned 
cowards I And the women and children fright- 
ened to death there ! " 

There was a gleam of white at his elbow. 
Two men of the Black Watch, coming through 
the garden, had checked in their way. Fin- 
nerty's big hand shot out, and clutched one by his 
white tunic. 

" Run, man, for your life, to the fort, bring 
a firin' squad— a Gatlin'— anything. For the 
sake of the children— run : I'll hold the tusker 
till you come. Run, man — as you love God, 
hurry ! " To the other he said : 

" Go to the children, man. Keep down at the 
side in the bushes. Get them out — d'you under- 
stand?" He clutched the man by the chest 
and drew him forward till his hot breath burned 
the other's cheek. "Damn you I Are you a 

201 



THIRTEEN MEN 

coward? Get them out, or I'll murder you. 
Throw them over the wall — anything. I'll 
keep the elephant for a bit." 

He thrust the soldier from him, and the two 
dived into the bushes on the left. 

" Now, Moti, me darlin' — och, you're feared, 
you little pig, you're tremblin'. But I'm with 
you, Moti. You'll go where the Keddah Sa- 
hib drives — ^you always would. Quick, give me 
your trunk now; there, so I " 

And the Keddah Sahib was lifted to the babe 
elephant's neck; his knees pressed against her 
ears, and his heavy, iron-shod walking stick was 
a goad. Finnerty jabbed it fiercely into the 
pulpy skull of his mount. 

" There, Moti, dauro now ! Squeal, you lit- 
tle pig ! " And Finnerty dug with his walking 
stick till the little trunk was thrown up, uttering 
a wail of remonstrance. 

The mad tusker heard the call of his kind just 
as he was shuffling toward the screaming chil- 
dren and ayahs. He stopped, threw his huge 
head up, and his great, fanlike ears waved back 
and forward, and then cocked intently. 

Finnerty drove Moti into the light, and the 
tusker's restless eye saw them. He whisked 
about and trumpeted a defiance. 

The babe squealed in fear, and stopped. 
202 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

"Dauro, Motil" Finnerty cried, hunching 
the big ears with his knees, and jabbing the skull 
with his goad. Moti obeyed, and shuffled 
forward. 

Finnerty could see the white-coated soldier 
driving the children before him like a flock of 
Iambs. A sahib leaped the wall and ran to the 
children; then another. 

"By the grace of God, they'll be saved 1" 
Finnerty cried, " if I can hold this big devil in 
play. Squeal, you little pig— give him bat, 
Moti. We must keep away from him— just 
play with him, me darlin' — the devil's fair ram- 
pageous. There, just stand where you are, 
Moti ; it'll take him time to make up his mind to 
charge." 

The Keddah Sahib knew every trick of the 
elephant. He knew that while the tusker's at- 
tention was fixed on him and Moti, the children 
and the sahibs and everything would be for- 
gotten—they would escape. The tusker would 
probably wait, ready to give battle, and Fin- 
ncrty's plan was to keep clear of the maddened 
brute. If he closed in, the bull would crush 
them both; unless, perhaps, he had an affection 
for Moti, when he might calm down. This 
was not at all likely, for the bulls, when angry, 
were vicious toward their young. 
M 203 



THIRTEEN MEN 

With difficulty Finnerty kept the babe from 
bolting. Perhaps it was the white-coated sol- 
dier that caught the bull's eye again, for he 
suddenly wheeled as if to charge and trample 
the fleeing children. 

" He's jast a crazy brute — he's fair mast," 
Finnerty muttered. " Chalo, Moti 1 Squeal, 
you little pig I Give him tongue I " and he 
jabbed the babe's head till she trumpeted shrilly, 
and started forward. 

Her call stopped the tusker again. He 
wheeled erratically, and, without stopping, came 
thundering down the lawn like a destroying 
tornado. 

"Steady, Motil" Finnerty yelled; but the 
babe, crazed with fear, whipped around clum- 
sily, and started back over the pathway. 

But the turn held her; she was weak from 
fear. In a dozen yards the bull had driven 
his tusks into Moti's rump, and as she fell 
Finnerty wa.: pinned beneath her massive 
head. 

When the men from Fort William swung 
into the garden on the run, they heard a vicious 
squealing cry of victory and hate from the 
tusker; and he was tramping something into the 
earth with his knees and tusks when they poured 
volley after volley into his huge carcass. 
304 



FINNERTY OF THE KEDDAH 

avaIl!Vi"'fr ""^ *'*' """""Whs and the 
ayahs had all cKaped unhurt. 

That is why, when you ask in India of Fin- 
nerty of the Elephant Keddah, they tell you this 
story first. ' 



205 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU * 



THE four trails that lead out like a Mal- 
tese cross abroad the world never get 
beyond the land of the simple life. 
And this is a simple account of Moung Pyu's 
crusade for spiritual betterment for himself and 
the three hundred villagers of Mindak, in 
Burma. 

Moung Pyu was bom a Buddhist; he sat at 
the feet of the Talopins and imbibed theological 
wisdom from the sacred book, the Vini. The 
deputy commissioner of the district took a 
fancy to the dark-eyed, yellow-skinned little 
Burman, and had him placed in a government 
school. Then Moung Pyu got a clerkship, and 
after a time he was made dcjjuty assistant mag- 
istrate of the third grade, and ff^oon of his own 
village, Mindak. 

What Moung Pyu thought, Mindak thought; 
and when Moung Pyu advised, Mindak con- 
curred. Even the chief commissioner at Ran- 
goon knew this; and whatever there was to be 

* Moung Pyu (pronounced Pu) trantlated is Ml. White. 
206 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

settled or adjusted in Mindak District was in- 
cased in large, official blue envelopes, tied with 
red tape, clo.:d with the awful seal of the Brit- 
ish Raj, and sent to Moung Pyu. There was 
never any worry after that. The chief com- 
missioner sighed with satisfaction; the commis- 
sioner of Aracan nodded his old head in wise 
appreciation; the deputy commissioner got the 
kudos (glory) of it all; and Moung Pyu, dep- 
uty assistant magistrate of the diird grade, ad- 
justed the unpleasantness. 

He was a dapper little man with his jacket 
of white cloth, his gay silk putsoe that had been 
made in the hand looms of Mandalay, and the 
white handkerchief wound jauntily about his 
heavy black hair, the two ends sticking up like 
the wings of a bird — ^this was the insignia of a 
village elder, and Moung Pyu was that in 
excelsis. 

Under Moung Pyu's rule MinJak was Uto- 
pia. The Buddhist priests, the Talopins, waxed 
sleek in content; and the little pagoda on Tiger 
Hill had been regilt with pure gold leaf, till its 
slender tapering form rose from a dark emerald 
setting of mangoe tree and padouk and tama- 
rind, and penciled the blue sky a gleaming plinth 
of reflected sunlight. This had come from the 
purse of Moung Pyu. He could not forever 
207 



THIRTEEN MEN 

be sending away the little bags of rupees that 
so mysteriously appeared upon his writing table, 
so he exorcised the little devil of corruptive in- 
fluence that was in the silver disks by putting 
them to work for the spiritual betterment of his 
people. 

Poh San, who had been Woon before Moung 
Pyu, had kept all these little gifts that are the 
dustoor (perquisites) of native officials, and had 
married six wives. At the last, when the shadow 
of Nirvana threw, a chill over the soul of Poh 
San, he prepared a little cave temple in the soft 
rock of Tiger Hill, placed in it a square-toed, 
alabaster Buddha, and died full of honor and 
sanctity. That was Poh Sa « way, which was 
the way of all rich, good Burmans. But Moung 
Pyu beautified the pagoda and repaired the 
priests' zyat (dwelling), and married but one 
wife; and after a time she died, and left two 
little girls with Moung Pyu. 

The religion that the Talopins taught was 
mystical, altogether simple and beautiful. It 
was a sin to take life, because all life was one 
under different forms; so Moung Pyu ate not 
even an egg, lest the spirit of some ancestor 
might have come back to assume the feathered 
garb of a fowl. And the Vini read that liquor 
— so much as might cling to the point of a knife 
208 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

—was harmful; so Moung Pyu drank milk and 
water and the milk of cocoanuts, and pondered 
over the wise sayings of Gaudama Buddha. 

The religion of the sahibs that were down 
m Phrang he judged of entirely by the canons 
of his own faith. The sahibs ate the flesh that 
had carried life, they drank the forbidden liq- 
uor; they also did other things that the priests 
said were wrong and evil in the eyc< >f Buddha 
Gaudama. 

But it happened that even in the eyes of the 
Talopins there was one godly person of the white 
man's faith, a woman, "Craig Memsahib." 
She was a Baptist missionary from America. 
Her husband had died in harness in Burma 
some years before, and she had gone on in a sim- 
pie. Christian spirit, after the manner of Christ 
Himself. All through Aracan were childre.i 
whose fathers had been white men, and who 
had gone back to their own country. Craig 
Memsahib gathered these half-orphaned ones 
mto her train of poor followers whenever she 
could. It was a gladsome sight to see her wan- 
dering about the districts, from village to viJ- 
lage, with her devoted children. When they 
were small she had them placed in schools; the 
larger ones she took with her. 

Craig Memsahib came many times to Min- 
209 






THIRTEEN MEN 

dak; and because of his knowledge that she was 
indeed a holy woman, Moung Pyu commenced 
to listen, at first with doubting curiosity. But 
as gently as a soft hand opens a flower, Craig 
Memsahib discovered for the Woon the beauti- 
ful truth of a life as Christ would have it. He 
began to see that the Talopins taught all of the 
flesh life, or of nothing; all was of the earth, 
and returning to earth, a chain of existence lead- 
ing to nothing but the end of everything. 

All this came not as it may be told in a day, 
or a moon, but in many moons; and in the end 
Moung Pyu gravely announced that all his 
people— the people of Mindak— now were Bap- 
tists. He had read and pondered, and come by 
a more beautiful trudi than was in the Vini, or 
in the shaven-headed craniums of the yellow- 
robed Talopins, and his people would now profit 
by his discovered blessing and become Baptists. 
This wholesale conversion of three hundred 
Buddhists brought prayers of thankfulness from 
the simple Christian woman Craig Memsahib. 
But, unfortunately, the fame of it came to die 
ears of the Rev. Beldon Hobbs, of Phrang. He 
was clergyman of the Church of England, the 
Established Church, which means first claim on 
all diings spiritual. In addition, the Rev. Bel- 
don Hobbs was many other things akin to arro- 

2IO 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

gance He w„ large and pompou, and doled 
out religion a. aim,, holding that he had full 
vicarage from the Lord for the salvation of a 
people.. So he blustered, and went in right ou 
.nd.gnat.on to the deputy commi„ioner-thc 
church and the state were inseparable. That 

^T u? "''' """= "'"^" ""= dominion of 

to Hobbs, altogether an outrage. They might 
as well turn dacoits at once. 

cala^J" ""' psychological moment a serious 
calamity occurred. The brave little Craig 
Memsah.b d.ed, ministering to the people of a 
vdlage stncken with cholera. The metamor 
phos.s of Buddhistic Mindak had not bTe„ nuUe 
completed, for the villager, were to have be n 

the Rev. John Blackmar. from Phrang. Now 

tl7"] f'^' '"'^ ^°""« Py"' d««ding the 
spmtual dom,n.on of Rev. Hobbs as Le- 
2^g worse even than the power of the Talo- 

d^ped the obedient villagers, declaring that 

now they were .ndred of the faith of the holy 

woman they had all revered. ^ 

Then came the Rev. Blackmar too late for 

211 



THIRTEEN MEM 

this baptiimal furction. He was a zealoui, 
narrow-minded little man — a itickler for teneta 
and observancei, and religion according to pre- 
Kribed method. He meant well, but he didn't 
know. To him the Buddhists were pagans, be- 
nighted worshipers of graven images. He used 
to say these things, honestly enough, but with- 
out understanding. So he reprimanded Moung 
Pyu for his assumption of ministerial power, and 
explained that becoming a Baptist was not a 
haphazard affair. 

Moung Pyu was wise enough to know that 
neither the Rev. Blackmar nor the Rev. Hobbs 
nor even the holy teacher Craig Memsahib 
were Christianity itself. But rhe manner of 
faith that had won Moung Pyu was the sweet 
Christly love religion of Craig Memsahib ; and 
this other repellent, formal dogmatism that was 
of the little sharp-nosed minister drove Moung 
Pyu into revolt, and he declared, with Burmese 
vivacity, that if tticy were not now Baptists they 
were indeed not Baptists at all. 

So the Rev. Blackmar preached to the big, 
pink-clustered padouk tree, while the villagers 
went down to the many-caved temples in Tiger 
Hill with offerings of rice and sweetmeats to 
the alabaster Buddhas; and in the end the con- 
scientious minister went disconsolately back to 

212 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 
OriTnul *°'''°"''"* °^" ^' initability of the 

The little pilgrimage to the cave temples had 
been wlely a polite intimation .. the minister, 
and not a real reapostasy, for the Woon was 

"llorB^S'dlil'''"'"'"^"''''--^'- 
By this time the Rev. Beldon Hobbs had 
harassed the deputy commissioner over the 
Woon of Mindak's apostasy, and through him 
the commissioner; and the commissioner, with 
repugnance in his soul, had memorializeH the 
chief commissioner. The correspondence, v.ith 
notes and comments, had all come back as weap- 
ons of offense to Padre Hobbs. So he went 
up into the land o.' Mindak with a flaming 
sword, bearing an order from the deputy com- 
missioner that he was to have carrien and 
transport and boats and whatever else his 
sweet will desired. That was essentially Padre 
Hobbs s way-the repellent, enforcing method, 
so unlike the love manner of Christ and Craig 
Memsahib. * 

.hh"/ ''*'L«°"^•'y •«>« from Phrang to Oung; 

path to Mindak. But when the men of Ou„,- 1 

fused to convey him to Mindak, because a pair of 

man-eating tigers had made a preserve of the 

213 



THIRTEEN MEN 






jungle bordering the trail, Padre Hobbs showed 
his order to the village headman, and explained 
that the latter would lose his place and the vil- 
lage would be fined and the people would sit 
forever in the black disfavor of the commis- 
sioner if the carriers and the bullock carts were 
not forthcoming. 

Padre Hobbs always had his way, even in 
Phrang; so the headman forced the frightened 
villagers out into the jungle; and there the 
padre, who was large in self-reliance, explained 
that desertion would be a personal affront, and 
he would deal with it personally to the utter 
extermination of the misguided deserters. 

Once, fearing the blood thirst of " Stripes " 
and his wife more than the Padre Sahib's anger, 
two carriers loitered behind looking for a chance 
to desert. The Padre Sahib put this little mat- 
ter of delinquency right, in his promised way, 
and foolishly, so far as the Christian faith was 
concerned, struck one of the men with his walk- 
ing stick. Individually Padre Hobbs would 
have paid this debt of hate incurred quickly 
enough, but officially he represented the British 
Raj, the Sircar, so all that happened in the way of 
retribution was the relating of this story in Min- 
dak when they arrived. And because of the story 
the clergyman might as well have sat in Phrang, 
214 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

for the Talopins explained that the new religion 
of love anii soul and other beautiful things had 
die f with Crai^; Memsahib, and this was alto- 
getiin a differ ;nt affair. It was not religion at 
all — it was zabbardasti, which means force by 
men in power. Thus the padre's arrogant per- 
sonality subverted the true thing; and the Talo- 
pins saw to it that it did. 

Moung Pyu, being an Oriental, had greater 
wisdom than a serpent, for, when it was all for 
the best, he could preserve a silence that was of 
the most refined gold. So he said to his adhe- 
rents: "The Padre Sahib is of low caste, for 
the men of high caste do not lose their tempers, 
except when the swords drink blood. But what 
he has done we have not seen, and what he has 
said we have not heard. If he departs in peace 
then there will be peace in Mindak; for one of 
his hands is the law, and one of his hands is the 
sahib's way of faith, and these two things are 
greater than the Padre Sahib or the people of 
Mindak." 

It was a crude jungle parable, which the vil- 
lagers but half-understood; but Moung Pyu had 
said it, therefore it stood as a saying of King 
Theebaw's had in the old days. And the Eng- 
lish clergyman wallowed back to Phrang unc- 
tioning his soul with the credit of martyrdom 
215 



jl 

i' i 

'! I J 

i 



' li 



THIRTEEN MEN 

because of the sweltering jungle pilgrimage; 
and there he wrote in the records that three hun- 
dred converts had come into the fold of the 
Established Church. 

The deputy commissioner groaned and admin- 
istered the law with fierce relentlessness for days 
when he realized that the padre's disturbing in- 
fluence had extended out into the district; for 
now there would be endless complaints from the 
Talopms of illegal interference, and many other 
tribulations. 

When the padre had departed Moung Pyu 
sat down and wrote to the commissioner for six 
months' leave of absence. And when the leave 
had come, he said to Mindak: "I am going 
across the big black water to the land of the 
sovereign, to Bilatti (England)." 

Mindak was astonished, but it didn't say so. 
What It said was: " The Sovereign will be gra- 
ciously pleased to see Moung Pyu, and when 
Moung Pyu returns he will be as wise as the 
great Commissioner Sahib in Rangoon." 

Moung Pyu said a few words of wisdom to 
the Talopms, advising them to meditate deeply 
among themselves while he was gone; that their 
lacquer trays for receiving votive offerings of 
food would be well supplied if they preserved 
an mtense holy seclusion. And to the village 
216 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

cuss this question of what is to be when we pass 
away, because now we have heard Craig Mem 
sah.b and the Baptist Mission Sahib fnd tJl 
great Church Sahib, who is Hobbs, and our own 

there are many witnesses on both sides and 
judgment cannot be given unfil thl • 

all rU,- It L . ^ ""*" *"^ case IS 

aJ clear. If there had been no one but the 
Talopins the case would have been simp" or 

iTke^fn ' ""<l"^tood; but now we are 

Moung Pyu left the two little girls with their 
from this book that Craig Memsahib gave diem 

underlnd tr ""' '""""= " ''"'^ ^'>'l'^- to 
unaerstand this great secret." 

217 



rl'i 



M 



III 



; ' 1 



THIRTEEN MEN 

bears only on the intricate matter of his many 
conversions in Burma. 

Five and one-half months from the date of 
Moung Pyu's departure it was Icnown in Phrane 
that he would arrive back by the Karagola. 

fn.h pf'^'^i"^ '"* °^ P"""«^" Published 
m the Phrang News the day before the Kara- 
^s arrival contained not the name of Moung 

No one in Phrang suspected that the " Mr 
White ,n the list was the Woon of Mindak, 
Anghcized-but it was. And Moung Pyu 
stepped from the steamer at Phrang as Mr 
White, the most extraordinarily metamorphosed 
Onental that ever caused a man to rub his eyes 
in bewildered astonishment. 

heavy black hair had been cut away to exceeding 
closeness. A stiff white collar was graced by a 
most intense four-in-hand tie, reflecting the 
blood-red glitter of a ruby-studded pin A 
lit TV"^ f "y-«riped trousers, cut in the 
ktest fashion, draped the slim figure of Mr. 
White down to gray spats and buttoned patent- 
eather boots His slim, gray-gloved fingers 
jauntily carried a gold-headed cane. 

The sahibs who knew Moung Pyu, and loved 
him for his fealty to the British Raj. screamed 
218 



fill 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

^^ Pa \ T "^ ^^' '^' ^'•"'■"8 ««le Bur. 
aTall A„H h ''"^^^ ^''--^hly if he did it 
at all. And he had-there could be no manner 

Itt ^'°""''"' ''^ °™^" ^^''^-^ - 
But there was still something more-some- 
«..ng very much more; for beside the dapper 
Mr. Whue walked a sweet-faced English gir 

MirR;vd"^'r ^ ^-^^ Estella^Roydon 
M ss Roydon had come out as governess for 
Mr. White's two motherless girls 

When this was told at the Gymkhana Club 
he sah.bs laughed merrily; when they carried 

ttirVv^'it "^r'"'"^ '^"^'"^^ --- 

tically. Everybody m Phrang laughed, except 
two men-Padre Hobbs .nd One Sahib. ' 
Padre Hobbs rolled his eyes in horror; then 

Oner's K-r'u °' ^"^^ denunciation; and th^ 
One Sah.b, who was like a blood brother to 
Moung Pyu, drew his face into a frown of com" 
m.erat.on and then went and talked to the Me 

fh-^'ll \.^'^^'^ ^'"^ •J""t'°"s, and learned 
this: that Moung Pvu haH f™.„^ '"mca 

Enirlan^ ™i, • ""'^ ^ woman in 

England who was as simple a Christian as Craig 
M msah.b had been And there, where th";! 

tTn ^u "^ ''°'^'"' '^' '^"s very poor- 
Aough her people had not always bTen poor 



THIRTEEN MEN 



And Moung Pyu had reasoned that if this good 

the same Christian Jove wisdom th.t Craic 
Memsah.b had known, the girls would grow up 

Lcorl , rt'' "*^ *' ^'""8^" ^°"W also 
become I.ke that^ and there would be no doubt- 

ng because of Hobbism or Blackmarism or the 
soulless faith of the Talopins. 

When Moung Pyu told this child story, that 
was really so very wise, the One Sahib knew and 
beheved that .t was all and all; but he also knew 
what Padre Hobbs had said about this Z^Z 
f M fe '"'"'"'^'"^ ''•'"«• So, very sadly, he 
wouldnt do, and explained why. The whv 
was, that nobody in India believed anything but 
ev where there was a woman in the case and 

Sthem ^''^'' ^°^^' ^""''J"'* 

Then the One Sahib went back to his bunga- 

low and said to his wife: " For God's sake go 

and bnng that English girl here to stay with 

pCibler ''' '-''' ^''- ™^" ^^^- 

dolt °"r ?'"'' ^'^ ''"'' *^* '^' «"tr«g"us 
c othes and hat and spats that turned the splen- 
did httle Burman into a paroquet were due solely 

220 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

Savor, .0, bukb]i„g .i* Mp...^ «," ° ^^ 
forth and swooped down unnn *»,. i . 

his Bond Street appa«7 ' ""'"• '"«' '" 

veJ^Tf ^'^'^ '''"^'^ «"™'«" ^y« opened 

Se thT R '° "°"' *^*"'"'"«- And after a 
inger ^"""''" '^" «"- ^'°"<Jy with red 

" Woman ? " he ouenVH •• tu 

h,?HV *''u-^'/" •'"""'' *"■' ™*''^'«« nose in a big 
unb"etf T r'r'"^"^'' '" condemn;.';" 
r dun; J r ^°""« ^^'^ ^"^''^ were but 
the duphcty of a Burman. However, thank 
God no su tie Oriental could pull the wo'ol ov„ 

church th ^' '" """'''^^ ''8'i"^* the 

ere r k'°'".'"""°"" ^°"1'' ""^'nly inter- 

fere-somehow it would reflect upon the state 

heStTfl'^-^' '"' ^'^-^^P-e-d 

there "^' ''"P'"^"^ "' 'vi' '"tent where 

there was none, was a disquieting revelation to 

the boy-mmded Burman. Somehow, as Padre 

221 



THIRTEEN MEN 



tasteful to Moung Pyu; they seemed to dra 
s spicLT fV"'"-P'»- of contaminatL 

r^l M u *"' *""" P"'*"' «nd little jack, 
he could have spoken out indignantly as iZ 
ple-hving V llaeer- all fi,. „ i , ■ . 

were moral S S n h.r" "^ ' ^•"'«' 
buf h. 1, J . "*** married six wives 

to the.> i 'T"''' ^''^"^'■^ '^^ «cordin 
to the r law. Moung Pyu looked down at the 

gljtenng buttoned boots and the silirspat^ 

ndeed they ye„ more of that life he'h d H^ 

lives than of the village where no one would 

So presently, Moung Py„, answering, said- 
You are altogether wrong. Minister Sah bX 

be a'^ Tn "' "«''*• ^' *"" » B"--. nd to 
be a good Burman is very good-for a Burman 
Miss Roydon IS too good a woman to be™ re 
where people speak ill of her. so she must g^ 
Srttt""- ^-"P^^^^^Hepassageafd 
offT^'" if' P'^drc had gone, Moung Pyu took 
half ;L;^,'"^'""P.''"'^ «»- '»'« ^l^th« to a 
siS • I J" "'^ ''''=«^''P*' ''"'•■ce. He 
feet into the canvas shoes that had been made 

222 



11 :l 



THE APOSTASY OF MOUNG PYU 

Engl,,h girl's expenses, said good-by to h r and 
went back to Mindak. ' 

n, J'T*'"' """""""'d the Talopins beneath the 
padouk tree, and said: " We must keep to al 
hat .s good .n the faith of our fatl.e. .. BuddJa 
taught us no evil, the evil coa.es of oursles 

yaig Memsahib comes again, who can keen us 
dose to their Christ and teach us so that wTcan 
understand, perhaps we will listen." 

What the girl said to the One Sahib when he 
put her on the steamer for home was : " Moune 
Pyu .8 the gentlest Christian I ever knew » 



*»3 



NAWAZ KHAN, THE GIFT OF ALLA 

I Liz! '"^V'' '^"^ ^'^^ ^°'n« down 

my tent to male •> ♦ r . . "^ ^'^^ from 

AlUltrat^tdcven "'"'"''•^'^""^^^^^^ 
224 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

Six footsore brigands made sandals from my 
leather gun case, and then came and hobnobbTd 
with me over a pot of tea. They were proud 
of their new foot wear; the oak-tanned wies 
peeped at me joyously from beneath the square 
rugged toes of the unabashed Pathans. I sa?d 
nothmg about this little matter-controver y 
might have ended with a slit in my neck; they 
had such a summary way of ending unpl asant 
arguments. *^ 

My ^ide, who was a first cousin to these out- 
aws m deviltry, wa, the best-natured blackguard 

for he had the wisdom of the serpent. 

These dwellers in caves." he said. " are the 
unregenerate offspring of depraved ca^elin-also 
of evil swine; therefore take no notice, and we 
wilUet through pleasantly enough-lwithou! 

His policy was sound; so the Marris and I 
remained on the very best of tenns. They even 
showed me Nawaz Khan, the fighting ram 7at 
had bucked into oblivion every other ram from 

?hT^^T '° ^'*'^"- A"<^ '•"""S'' of that 
they had been exalted among the ram-fighting 
man-fighting. any-sort-of-fighting nations of that 

At the guide's suggestion. I gave the owner. 

325 



THIRTEEN MEN 



n 



Rabat Shah, five rupcei to make tilver knob 

for the points of the Khan', bom.. Surely I ha< 

become a blood brother to the cutthroat Marri. 

That wa. what the guide laid-also wa. I „£, 

«nthe.,ghtofAIl,h,heaMuredme. 

" Zr^l TJ?.'^. '" December. N.war Khan, 

lootn ./""''•" ^" «""«• H« had been 
looted, or had tumbled over a cliff. The trib] 

had searched at the bottom of every prlc"i„ 
without result. That he hoA k P'*<^'P'« 

as d!fflr..u (\ f ? ""*' ''"" "o'e" was 

one L!; "i '"' " '•" ""=""«"» "-at some 
one had made away with Buddha's tooth from 
the temple at Kandy. 

And"„' ^r" ^'""' '"" «°"' °^ « certainty. 
battleHnd r "" °"'^ ^'•' """'"^ °' ''« -"X 

5:icv::;t?eid'r''°''"-^'"-^"'°-h' 

saw was a ram, joyous m much fat. taking a 

In7l w'" T^^''':^''"'^ '" ^™"' °" '■•» 

the middle on the south side, and if the soldier 

had been bnttle he would have broken in two 

As It was, he covered much territory before 

The orderly was vexed at the importunate 

326 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

attention from the hard-headed ram. He picked 
himself up with Sikh dignity and reached for 
hii gun, which stood with three inches of iu iron 
muzzle buried in the soft earth. 

Now a ram, when he tries for a knock-out 
blow and fails, usually backs up and plays a 
little harder next time; but the orderly's assail- 
ant seemed to think he had carried the joke far 
enough, wisely, perhaps, and walked sedately 
over to the colonel's dogcart and started peel- 
ing the yellow paint from the spokes. 

Something about the cut of this pugnacious 
sheep appeared familiar to me. I maneuvered 
up to him strategically, keeping my line of re- 
treat well open. A critical reconnoissance con- 
vinced me that it was the fighting ram of my 
freebootmg friend who lived in the foothills of 
the Sulimans; there were the silver knobs of 
which I was the donor. 

Great Scott I what was he doing here at the 
colonel's tent? The whole Marris country 
would be in a blaze if they knew of it. 

But they had looted me; therefore let them 
look to Allah for the return of their tribe's glory. 

I asked Tenier, who was a lieutenant in the 
regiment, where they had pakaraod the sheep. 
" Such a larkl " he answered. " You know 
227 



!}.f 1 
■ 1 



THIRTEEN MEN 
the colonel is a queer fish; studies his book on 

GooT" ™. ^u^-^- '■" ''" P-'''^' »" the le 
Good enough chap, you know, the old fellow 
". wouldn t know enough to step inside if it we« 
ra.n.ng bujets, and nothing to be gained by get! 
^"g shot; but all the same, he's lik! one of 'those 
greaseless country carts with his squeaky yZ 
-Puj. the fellows all on edge, you'know' 

We don t mind fighting-like it, of course- 
but, hang it all! when there's no figkting to be' 

Sheep and goats, and no raiding on, why we 
want a bit of fun, or else we'll go flabby ' 
"Now 'Old Squeaks '-that', what the 

«t'oft '^'"^' '""-P°'°- -'J >" tt 
about A 'r ^r~^ ^" ''''«^=^' he talks 

;otrffh:t°st^''°^'"'^--^'-<^--y- 

chemot '^'"''V'*"'.' ""'' l>"»«d myself with his 
dieroot case, hunting for a decent Trichi- I 
knew there was something needing a lot of «- 
pl^ng away, and that my young friend was 
leadmg up to .t diplomatically enough. So I 
waited, and smoked patiently as he Ltled on 
with his picturesque narrative. 

" Well, it seemed hopeless enough; we sat in 
the rottenest sort of luck. Thefe was ^Z 

228 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

fighting up Chitral way with Shir Afzul, Umra 
Khan, and that lot, but wc never got the route. 
The camp was simply dying of stagnation. If 
cholera had come down from the Bolan, as it 
did last year, it would have played merry hades 
with us — we were that stalled for want of fight- 
ing, or something. 

" There were always five or six of our fellows 
in hospital, and not a iiroken bone or a ' cop- 
cussion' in the whole tally lot— nothing but 
flabby heart. That was what was bowling them 
over— thinking. Good God! we didn't come 
out here to think, did we, Braem ? " 

" I should say not," I replied, with an em- 
phatic laugh. 

Tenier looked at me quizzically. " Don't be 
a sarcastic goat," he said testily. " We can 
think right enough when it's needed; but fight- 
ing or polo or racing's the thing to keep a man 
fit. Good Heavens ! the surgeon actually hinted 
that some of the fellows were malingering. It 
would have ended in mutiny right enough; but 

just then we got hold of Yusuf " 

Before my friend had time to finish the sen- 
tence, there was a rushing noise like the cutting 
loose of a junior cyclone, and over we went, tent 
and all. Lord ! but it was a mix up. The cot, a 
stool, a suit case, young Teniers with a sword 
229 



;!;■' 



THi.-.EEN MEN 

J S' J™ V' ''°^' " "^"8 »v.r m.- 
" If» *« damn nm F w * '?"' '"^"» 

i..d rcphcbrf ,he „ ™r«l St "'*"• 
"Does he do that often? "I asked 

Tommy curled up on a chamoy "sTeeo 1 
t.mes he bunts the water baS "er'loo ^Td 
once he tipped the old man up backLI'. ^' 

--thing that seemed a haJ^Xti^X^S 
230 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

was heels on, and didn't see him coming. We 
hid the ram for two days— the colonel would 
nave shot him." 

" Who owns him— did one of the men chor 
(steal) him? " I asked cautiously, for the Khan's 
deeds made my friend a bit irrelevant to the 
point at issue. 

" No; got him from Yusuf— you know Yusuf 
Khan, the camel man ? " 

I assented. I rememberea him well. Once 
upon a time he had sold me a mad Bokharan 
as a ridmg camel, and the blatant thing had run 
away with me for twenty miles. At the end I 
was seasick, and for a week had amateur rheu- 
matism. " Yes, I remember him," I said remi- 
niscently; " he's a bad lot even for a Pathan." 
" Well, Yusuf wanted the contract for sup- 
plying transport camels, and came to me about 
It. Wanted to know what backsheesh he could 
give the colonel to win his heart. Did you ever 
hear of such a thing? Fancy his trying to work 
Squeaks that way! They do it among them- 
selves, you know; everybody's got to have his 
dustoor, so he thought it was only a question of 
tindmg out what the colonel's fancy ran to. 

" Lutyens, who came up with the regiment, 
was with me, and we pulled old Yusuf's leg no 
end of a time, quizzing him as to what he had to 
231 



l^if- 



1 



[I 






3i :■': 



THIRTEEN MEN 



give the colonel. At last he mentioned that he 
Cabul "'"' *''" ^"' ^'^"" ^^' '""^ 

. "By Jove! you should have seen Lutyens 
jump at that. He swore the colonel was just 
dying to have a fighting ram ; that he was a great 
sportsman, and simply reveled in that sort of 
thmg-hvedonit. I must say that I backed the 
major up — I had to." 

J'i7°''?.^\ ^"^*'"« y°" ^""t-' Lutyens 
told Yusuf ; only bring the ram in.' 

Fancy Squeaks fighting rams— it's unholy I 

His aunt, or somebody, wouldn't like it 

" We put the other fellows on to the ' good 

thing, and in the end Yusuf was coached prop- 

erly. Also we worked the colonel-stuffed him 

h!ir"xl^?n '" ' ''"""' °' '^ ''™»»' «P in the 
lulls. The fellows came out o' hospital to play 
tne new game that was on. 

"The colonel, you know, had been down in 
Burma or China or some other heatlien country 
with his regiment, and when they were sent up 
here to relieve the Tenth, neither he nor any of 
the others knew a word of this Pathan baht- 
Pushtu IS like dummy talk to them. Of course 
he had passed in the thing at home, the lingo 
we all went through-Urdu, they call it, I think; 
but here it seems to be pushtu, sheep talk and 
232 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

Persian mixed. When Squeaks thinks he's tell- 
ing them to dear out, they come and sit in his 
lap. 

" We squ: red his krani (clerk) . He's a Ben- 
gali baboo, and is afraid of everything but ru- 
pees and ghee. Lutyens frightened him to death 
—swore he'd ride Shahzada over him by acci- 
dent if he didn't make proper talk when Yusuf 
brought in the lambkin. 

" One day Yusuf and three other brawny Af- 
ghans turned up with the dirt of twoscore years 
thick upon the lot of them. Cracky! but they 
were fierce-looking; jezails, jade-handled knives 
the length of your arm, and all the rest of their 
cutthroat tools. With them came the ram, of 
course. He was short-clipped and gorgeous in 
many colors, painted up for the occasion." 

'"Diplomacy is the racket,' said Lutyens, 
' play Squeaks on that' 

" You see the colonel has a hobby that if we 
can humor these natives we shan't have to fight 
them. It'll be a beastly hole to live in if that 
ever comes about; we'd soon die o«F if there was 
no fighting to be had. 

" The old man had a regular durbar; for the 
baboo explained that Yusuf was one of the Khan 
of Kelat's small chiefs, and that he wanted to 
make friendship with the English for his tribe. 



THIRTEEN MEN 



11 ■' 



i: . 
Ill illii 



H« people ,ivcd.on,cwherc up in the Bolans 

"They ate salt together and touched palms 
with a rupee and things went on swimming^; "" 
Yusuf couldn't understand a word the coIo- 
nel sa.d and the Afghan baht was aHGreet 
to Squeaks. Lutyens had his eye on the K "nT 
who was interpreting after a fashion-youS 

wror:e7v:;/'''"^^'~^^^p^-^- 

"The game was that Yusuf had brought in 
the ram as a peace offering; it was the thiL h^ 
P ople pnzed most on earth-a sort of sacred 

;; It was all Lutyens's doings, I swear." 

At first when the colonel understood that 
he was t, ,,,^ ^^^_ ^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ th t 

He hates everything but a cavalry horse vou 
b.ow; and only likes them belse tly':: 

"The funny part of the business was, that 
Yusuf really got the contract for the camels no 
on account of the sheep, but because thHlnd 
^hought .t a good thing to win over this head 

" ^''"''» ^°^ ^«= got the ram," said Tenicrs 
234 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

"He simply won't leave the colonel— hangs 
around his tent all the time bunting the orderly. 
One day he chewed the tops off Squeaks's new 
boots. He's really kept us alive. And what's 
odd, the colonel's got fond of him— we all know 
that; he never bunted the old man once, only the 
time he upset him by mistake. He just does as 
he likes in the regiment; they look upon him as 
a mascot. 

" He's a proper budmash, but what can you 
expect from a ram tha^' jeen brought up among 
these sons of Belial when he gets into decent 
society? 

" The sergeant's mess clubbed in and put that 
silver ring on his horn. They're a scum lot— 
they looted all the refreshment rooms coming up 
from Karachi, but they'd fight for the lamb until 
they were wiped out, I believe. That's because 
he's so properly bad; they like it." 

I said never a word about the original owners 
of the ram— it would be a pity to spoil sport. 
If Yusuf had looted him from the Marris he 
deserved that camel contract. I even forgave 
him my ride on the mad Bokaran. 

Then wa had a week of proper Sibi dullness; 
nothing happened, absolutely nothing— only the 
heat; it was terrific. 

The Beluchis in the plain about Sibi went out 
w 23s 



^■,1 



:; 



■I ' 



h 



m 



THIRTEEN MEN 

and tiUcd their fields and tended their floclu and 
never a hiUman swooped down on them. It 
looked a, though die little round towers of 
defense dotted all over the plain like huge 
Chun,, jnight a, well be leveled to the ground. 
Ihe fellows squabbled among themselves, and 
prayed for strong-hearted infidels to come 
down and fight diem. It was the heat-it 
took the life out of everything. Even the 
Khan lay as|eep most of the time-he was 
gettmg fat. 

All week the colonel had labored with official 
zeal over a letter to die Civil and Military Go- 
2*//* on the necessity for higher diplomatic 
knowledge among military officers in command 
in border districts. He made a strong point of 
the assertion diat "diplomacy was the higher 
form of applied patience." He always wrote 
with a tight grip on the pen, and his mouth 
twisted to one side. That's a proper military 
man s attitude— it's like sword play. 

Incidentally the ram mixed up widi the colo- 
nels epic. Tuesday, while he was sweating 
over an mtricatc paragraph that wouldn't go 
nght anyhow, the Khan stalked Lutyens's fox 
temer, and shikarried him into die colonel's 
tent. The table was upset, and three pages of 
the manuscript floated in ink. The profanity 
336 



m\ 



NAWAZ KHAN. GIFT OF ALLAH 

was awful. It frightened even the Khan, and 
he didn't show up for a day. 

When the old man finished the article Thurs- 
day, he had writer's cramp and a stiff neck. 
Friday the ram nibbled the letter out of his tunic 
pocket as it lay on a chair, and ate it. The or- 
derly saw him just finishing the " Yours truly. 
Diplomat." ' 

i^ow patience was a good thing to write about 
in an article on diplomacy, but when it came to 
having a week's work chewed up by a bilious 
ram, it was a little too much for human nature, 
and the colonel's language was terrific; also he 
battered the Khan. 

All Saturday we laughed over this, for it 
leaked out. That night Nawaz Khan chewied 
a bowl of lettuce that was on Major Lutyens's 
dinner table; and the four of us who were to 
have dined widi him had to go and borrow a 
scrap meal from different sections of the camp. 
It cost Lutyens twenty-five rupees for new dishes, 
to say nothing of two wasted bottles of Simpkin 
opened on the ram's horns. 
_ Monday, joy reigned in the regiment. The 
route " was out for a detachment of two com- 
panies. Where they were going nobody knew 
only the colonel. Something was on up in the 
hills; It couldn't be a scrap widi only two com- 
237 






I ■ 



^J 



' ,! I i 



THIRTEEN MEN 

paniei going, it muit be political. However, it 
wa» a move, and Lutyens and Tenieii, who were 
going, were full of die thing. 

By daylight Tuesday morning die men were 
on the march; and by noon the broad, flat sur- 
face of the Sibi Put (desert) had swallowed 
them up; diere was only a glinting mirage where 
they had gone off toward the northeast. They 
were heading straight for the Marris hills. 

A feeling of misgiving came over me when I 
realized diat diey were going toward the Marris 
Pass, for the ram had gone with diem. 

At sunrise Thursday, bright glinting flashes 
struck our camp, thrown from the hills to the 
east. It was a heliograph signal. It read: 
" Surrounded by tribesmen fifteen miles up the 
Pass. Hard pressed. Send reenforcements." 

An answer was flashed back that we'd leave 
immediately, and soon die balance of the regi- 
ment was streaming across the Put, with two 
seven-pounders and a Catling. 

This is what had happened in the mean time : 
After they had gone about five miles, the 
colonel suddenly discovered that Nawaz Khan 
was complacently marching widi the transport. 
The old man swore like a trooper. " Curse the 
brute," he exclaimed, " am I never going to get 
238 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

•way from that ram?" But the fellows fan- 
cied he was really pleased that the Khan had 
•tuck to them. It was too late to turn him 
back, so Nawaz and the orderly plodded alonff 
together. " 

When they got among the hills, the natives 
came mto the camp friendly enough. At first 
there were a few of them. They talked to the 
colonel through the krani, and though the latter 
was a little mixed on their baht, he understood 
just enough to exchange the courtesies. 

But the minute they got their eye on the ram, 
things changed. They soon slipped awfy, but 
our fellows didn't know that it had anything to 
do with the Khan; they didn't know he had been 
looted from the Marris. 

At the next halt, farther up in the hills, quite 
a arge body of tribesmen came in and had a 
palaver. Our ' ows had seen them hovering 
about on the l...e of march. The baboo 
couldn t explain four annas of what they said- 
but It was easy to see they were demanding the 
ram. * 

Then the old man's liking for the beast 
cropped up. " It was infernal cheek," he called 
It. 'The ram was the regiment's mascot— it 
would be like giving up the colors. Never I he'd 
fight them first. If it were a sort of toU they 
239 



i\ 



■1/ . 



} 4 



THIRTEEN MEN 

were levying, he'd pay «miething for the uke 
of peace, rather than have a tamasha." 

I IS' u^t?'^ *•"' ''"'^ '° «'"« ^l^e chief. Afzul 
ul Mulk, fifty rupeei. The latter tucked the bair 
of Jilver m hi. belt, and lat on hi. haunche. .ul- 
leniy. 

*' What i. he waiting for? " adced the colonel. 

He want, the ram, lir." 
Thi. brought the colonel to the end of his 
diplomatic tether-hi. choler got up, and he 
ordered the Marri. to clear out. They went, 
and the troops lost sight of them. 

Toward noon, as the detachment marched 
along the track which led over a dry water 
course up to a narrow slit in the hills, they were 
suddenly fired upon from in front. The hills on 
either side of the Pass were thronged with white- 
turbaned tribesmen, who were sniping at the 
troops with long rifles. 

The colonel's men returned the fire, but most 
of the bullets only spatted against the rock cover 
the hillmen crouched behind. " Phut I phut I " 
went the guns on the hillside; "p-ing-g! spit! 
spat I came the leaden pills from every side, 
for the Pathans were closing up i„ the rear also. 
1 he men were in a trap. 

"We've got to get out of this, and make a 
stand on higher ground, sir," said Lutyens. 
240 



NAWAZ KHAN. GIFT OF ALLAH 

Then the men charged up one tide of »he val- 
ley, and drove the Marrit from the tcp ,.) . hill 
at the point of the bayonet. It wat hot work. 
Lutyent got a bullet in hit arm, and half a dozen 
men dropped in the valley. There was no time 
to get them; they lay there under the cross fire, 
as well as eight or ten of the Pathans. 

It looked like bad business, and the hills all 
around simply swarmed with tribesmen who 
kept up a dropping fire. It didn't do much 
harm, the range was too great; but the troops 
were surrounded, and it would be hot work get- 
ting out. The Marris saw they had our fellows 
trapped, and played a waiting game. There 
were hundreds of them; the hills were alive. 
Tenier and Sergeant Flynn volunteered to slip 
through the enemy that night and bring up re- 
enforcements. 

They took a heliograph with them, because 
they could signal from the foothills in the morn- 
ing, saving a twenty-mile tramp, and get word 
to the regiment quicker. They stole out in the 
darkness, and the men waited, not knowing 
whether they got through or not. 

All night the tribesmen kept up a spitting fire 
—just enough to make rest impossible. That 
was their game— to keep the small troop 
hemmed in, and worry them to death. 
241 



H 



THIRTEEN MEN 

Our fcUows knew what it meant-water. 
The lull was like an ash heap-as dry. The 

four hours; another twenty-four and they would 

detachment would have to fight its vay out I 
would be at terrible cost-probably not a man 
would get through alive. They hadn't a S3 
gun with them-nothing but their rifles; so they 
couldn't shell the enemy from their path. Thil 
was a senou, mistake; but the colonel had evi- 

S T^ °"' °" ' P°"''"' ""i^ion, ani 
con«dered guns an impediment to rapid travel. 
So they p ^d h ^^^^ ^^^.^^ ^^ ^^P 

might get through. * 

heU'Z^'FTi'^' ""'^" '° ""^h them just 
before dayhght, but there was no attack-^oth- 

let! .n t ""t"'"* ^"' '^' '^"''"'"8 i" of bul- 
lets, to keep them on edge. 

forlil' T""^"^ ""^ ^''^ '"y ^"^'"^ the two 
forces Once c- men tried to slip down to bring 

mthe.r wounded, but were driven back; Jcf 

the tribesmen crept down, but were repulsed 

w.^a stiff .olley-their mission was Lat- 

242 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

In the morning it was seen that the Marris 
had been at work during the night Two stone 
sangas had been thrown up within fair range of 
our men; but Lutyens had also constructed a 
barricade, so honors were even. 

About nine o'clock half a dozen Marris came 
down with a white flag— they wanted to pick up 
the wounded. Our fellows were glad of the 
chance of a truce, and the poor chaps who had 
lain out all night were brought in. 

While this was going on, another party of 
cignt or ten came in with a white flag also; and 
with them was a gigantic ram, close-clipped, and 
with all the glory of war paint on his strong- 
ribbed sides and muscular quarters. The baboo 
unearthed from their muddy vocabulary that 
they wanted to fight the Khan. 

" They're a rum lot," said Lutyens, with his 
arm m a sling; " while they've got us hemmed in 
here, and hope to starve us out, they want to put 
in the time pleasantly by holding sports. But it 
will delay matters, anyway, and give Tenier a 
chance. If he'd been captured, we'd have 
heard about it, I think— he must have got 
through. 

" We'll fight them with the ram, won't we, 
sir? " hz said to the colonel. " It'll keep things 
back. We'll mark time as long as we can— I'll 
243 



i 



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1 1 



rl' Hi 



I, i! 
'■'■ ill 

I 

i1:f' 

lis 



THIRTEEN MEN 

swear the ram has just been fed, and hold the 
fight off for a couple of hours, till he's in good 
condition. He's too fat to fight, anyway — the 
other fellow'U do him up; their brute's as fit as 
a fiddle." 

So, with the aid of the baboo, the thing was 
explained, in a fashion, and the fight held off 
until after dinner; the visitors, who were prob- 
ably selecting the individual throats they meant 
to slit when tliey had persuaded our men to sur- 
render their rifles later on, were fed with pro- 
fuse hospitality. 

It was a fine diplomatic play all round. 
Afzul Mulk reasoned that they were helping to 
eat up the provisions the troops had to subsist 
upon, therefore they would be starved into sur- 
render the sooner. The colonel and his officers 
hoped that Tenier had escaped, and if they could 
delay matters with the aid of the ram long 
enough, the relieving force would pop in on the 
flank of the enemy with a machine gun or two, 
and save the situat'on. 

The hillmen weie receiving reenforcements 
all the time. They were a fine lot of black- 
guards, these Marris; they ate cheerily with our 
fellows, and viewed critically the commissariat 
they hoped to be placed in command of by the 
help of Allah and much thirst. 
444 



If: 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 



Lutyens, who had taken charge of the fighting 
arrangements, delayed bringing out the Khan as 
long as he dared. At last, about two o'clock, 
he concluded he had reached the limit ; the visit- 
ors were muttering impatiently. 

A sharp lookout was kept to prevent a sur- 
prise, and the tamasha started. The Khan was 
full of it. Fighting in the camp at Sibi had been 
stupid play; nothing fought back — here was the 
sport of his lambhood. The Marris ram was 
keen as a fox terrier, too. 

When they came together in the first round 
it was like the bursting of a shrapnel ; but it was 
only a feeler evidently. They backed off a little 
farther next time, and with short, jerky pig 
jumps banged into each other. The flint horns 
cracked sharp and dear in the still mountain 
air. 

As the sound went echoing up the canons of 
the hills the tribesmen cheered with joy — it was 
a fight after their own hearts. The whole camp 
warmed to the fun; the colonel was the most 
excited man in the detachment. 

Lutyens was new to the game, and didn't han- 
dle his ram right. One of the tribesmen, who 
had been watching the Khan with loving eye, 
jumped up and begged, with much pantomime, 
to be given charge of the detachment ram. 
245 



ti'A 



THIRTEEN MEN 



I 



I" 









^^ "Let him handle him I " cried the colonel; 

th^r ^°' '° ^'"' °' ""'y'" *»•'' '» " »n omen 
that they re going to beat us." 

The Pathan almost cried for joy when he put 
h.s strong fingers in the Khan's whiskers. He 
laid h.s swarthy face against the ram's Roman 

Shah, the Khan's r.ghtful owner; but our chap, 
didnt know that. They backed the rams 
among themselves. Afzul, the head man of 
the Marns drew forth the colonel's fifty rupees 
he had tucked in his belt, and gave Squeaks to 
understand he wanted to gamble on the fight. 
Jove ! ,f the colonel didn't take him up I Nobody 

ir'l^^'l *""'" ""''"= "" ^'' '" ^^^ life before. 

1 he Khan s new handler played fair— played 
to wm. Lutyens watched him close; but he 
didn t need that. He was a proper sportsman 
-they re all that. He gave the Khan a chance 
to get h.s wmd; delayed each round as long 
as he could. That was what our fellows 
wanted. 

The Khan was a bit the stronger, and at first 
got a lead over the other chap; but the hawk 
eyes of the natives had sized up the situation 
pretty well. They knew that our ram was fat, 
mside and out, and would tire after a bit. Their 
ram was as hard as nails; everything in their 
246 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

country is, men and all. He was like a fighting 
boar— gaunt and rough; all muscle and pluck, 
with horns of steel. 

The Khan's charge became perceptibly less 
fierce; he wavered a little as they came together 
like rocks in an avalanche. His hind quarters 
drooped after each crash. 

" This comes of you juniors always stuffing 
the beast with sugar or some cursed thing ! " 
squeaked the colonel. " You've spoiled one of 
the best fights ever was." 

What with preliminaries, and rests between 
rounds, and hard fighting, the battle lasted over 
an hour, when finally the Khan was smashed to 
the earth by a glancing blow that slipped from 
his horns and tore along his thick neck. He'd 
had enough— he knew that. Not for his old 
master even, not for anything, would he face the 
music again. The tribesmen had won. 

The visitors sprang to their feet and cheered 
the wild battle cry of the Pathan. Up, up the 
hills it went, caught up and echoed from throat 
to throat— hundreds of them— until the whole 
range rang with the paean of victory. It was 
impressive. Our men were awed. It was like 
a foreboding of disaster. 

The colonel quietly handed over the rupees to 
Afzul. The Marris squatted on their haunches 
247 



K 



1^ 



'■!»■ 



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THIRTEEN MEN 

again; and Lutyens, to show that there was no 
ill will, ordered hot coffee served to them. 

Rahat Shah, who had handled the Khan, got 
him on his feet, and started to lead him over to 
the little group of squatted tribesmen. 

The colonel interfered. " Take the ram away 
from that chap," he ordered. " I believe they're 
trying to walk him off." 

The orderly took the Khan from the Marris 
and put him over with our men. Rahat Shah 
was astonished— indignant. He hustled the or- 
derly a little, and there was a bit of a scuffle at 
first; but the ram was taken away from the per- 
sistent tribesmen. 

The sitting Marris muttered among them- 
selves, and commenced to move about restlessly. 
Afzul was energetically trying to explain some- 
thing to the baboo. 

"What's the matter?" asked the colonel. 
"What does he say?" 

" Not understanding his talk, sir," replied the 
baboo. " His talkjiot of my country, therefore 
not understanding proper. He wanting the 
sheep, sir, I think." 

"That's rich," retorted the colonel; "dash 

his eyes I I suppose they think because the ram's 

beaten we won't keep him. Tell them, if you 

can, with my salams, that if they want him real 

248 



m 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

bad, they can come and take him in their usual 
zabardasti way— there'll be a few dead Mussul- 
mans before they get him, though. But don't 
hurry it, baboo — keep them as long as you can. 
I'd like to hear the music of a Catling on their 
flank over there." 

Now, the baboo loved to talk— all baboos do; 
but the Marris didn't want talk; it was the ram 
they were after. Besides, they hated a baboo 
worse than they did the cursed Feringees, the 
British. 

When they saw they were getting more baboo 
talk than ram, they exchanged a few fierce, hot 
words among themselves, standing defiantly 
erect, then turned away, anger flipping from 
every fold of their loose dress, and marched sul- 
lenly down the hill, across the valley, and up 
where crouched their fellows. 

"Gad! they're mad," said the colonel. 
"Wonder what it's all about? We'll get pepper 
now; get ready for them, major." 

Below, the valley was silent. The dead had 
been turned under the rubble of earth and broken 
stone, and the wounded brought into the lines. 
The sun was almost dipping behind the peaks 
in the west. 

With set faces the men waited for the blood- 
thirsty rush that would come surely: either that, 
249 



THIRTEEN MEN 

or the hi,, of a ,hrap„el coming up the valley 

from the relief. Which would come first? It 

Slped" *' ""forcement,, if Tenier had 

They could ,ce the tribesmen creeping closer 

dSlStrr""^^"^^"^"^"^^^' 
.. p.^".''^*' yy fi«." Mid the colonel sternly. 

We U make as good a fight a, the ram did. any- 

"By Jovel'theyVe mad clean through," said 
Lutyens, as he watched the Pathans through his 
field glass; " they won't even wait for the dark- 

ouff, „?''' Kr-T'P'"« "K"''"'" " li«le white 

"ts.inl^'^ /k" "■^™**^ '"°"''"8' »"d *« 
P-s-mg-g of the smging lead struck on his 

Then he swept the valley to the south with 
a powerful glaM. Nothing moved in that 
direction but the white of a fluttering Marris 
coat, or the brown of a sheepskin vest 

Lower and lower moved the white circle of 
the creeping tribesmen. It was like watching 
the foam wash of the incoming tide. 

"Fix bayonet,!" commanded Lutyens; and 
250 



'* 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

'•They don't relish the steel," .aid Lutyen,; 
we can g.ve them point, at that game, any- 
way. It was a grim joke, for he knew well that 
number, would tell in the end; and though they 
-ght be driven back once, twice, a dozen times! 
the Pathan wolves would come again, and again 
until every throat was cut. ^ ' 

The foe was down in the valley now, not three 
hundred yards and slipping from rock to roS 
-^talking their white prey. 

"When they mass for the rush," said the 
major to the men, "we'll give them a volley 
and another before they reach us; then it'll be' 
the bayonet against their big knives. Gad I I 
ahriost thought-no, it couldn't be. I fancied I 
heard a bugle; but it's one of their cursed sheep- 
calJs, I suppose. 

Snil!!^ ^u"^ ''."' '™''^ ^''^ smooth-worn 
t% M*" ?'P""^ """^ '^' long-barreled 

but the strong hungry knives that would rip and 
slash when they had broken the ranks. 

Suddenly Afzul was seen to jump on a rock 
and wave a green and yellow banner. That was 
the signal for the onslaught. Pandemonium 
broke loose. Every rock and every hill echoed 






17 



251 



M 



THIRTEEN MEN 

with a hundred tongues die fanatic Moilein 
cry. 

" They're a noity lot of beggan," laid the 
colonel, " juat like the BurmeM; but they'll fight 
better, I fancy." 

Like a pack of hungry wolves giving cry they 
started up the ascent. 

"Present I steady, men — aim low! fire!" 
came the commands sharp and clear from the 
major. 

A red circle, of hot, belching fire darted from 
the black barrels of the Martinis; and the wail- 
ing hail swept down the hillside, and the white, 
rushing line swayed, staggered, trembled for an 
instant, and then swept on again, closing up the 
gaps that had been bitten into it by the eager 
teeth. The Sniders and the jezails vomited back 
an answer; but the stone barricade grabbed at 
the bullets, and only three men swayed drunkenly 
from the wall. 

Halfway up the hill the Martinis coughed 
again ; and the second volley plowed deeper and 
more terribly into the Moslem foe. 

Again the line wavered; there was a lull; 
Afzul's voice could be heard bellowing like a 
mountain leopard at his hesitating men. 

A low, moaning shriek came up the valley; 
there was a crash as a shrapnel burst, and an 
352 



NAWAZ KHAN, GIFT OF ALLAH 

acre of bullets hiued and screeched m they cut 
through the air on the charging enemy's flank. 
Bo(H>.m.m," ponderously came the voice of 
the screw gun that had thrown the shell. 

"Hurrah I the relief I " cheered Lutyens, his 
bared sword gleaming. " Give the hounds an- 
other volley 1" 

Down In the valley an English bugle was 
soundmg the charge. " Ph-u-t-t, ph-u-t-t-ph-u- 
t-tl a Gatling was chirruping, and "Boo- 
o-m-ml " a seven-pounder was chorusing. The 
advancing troops were volley firing, and the 
white mass of turbaned tribesmen was beina 
rolled back like a war map. 

Afzul's men had come too late-the stone 
wall stared at them stolidly; they broke; and 
fold on fold the Pathan mass was pushed back 
and up through the Pass they had come down 
from. 

"Just in time, eh?" panted Tenier, as he 
galloped up to the detachment. 

The relief was complete. It was useless to 
toilow the Marris among the hills without 
cavalry. 

I had gone up with the regiment, and Tenier 

told me all about the trouble. There was a ton 

of guilt on my soul; for if I had spoken, had 

told of the ownership of the ram, all this might 

253 



M 



THIRTEEN MEN 

have been averted. How wai I to break it to 
the colonel? I must tell him. 

That night at dinner Lutyens luddenly broke 
in with, "Well, we had two ripping fights 
to-day." 

"Wat this the second attack?" queried 
Tenier. 

" No, Nawaz Khan fought the first battle. 
We had a truce, and the fellows came down with 
a sheep built like a ' blue bull,' and he did up the 
Khan in fine shape." 

Why the thunder did they attack you this 
time, then, if they got the ram? " I asked. 

" They didn't get him," said the colonel sim- 
ply in his squeaky voice. " We wouldn't give 
him up." 

" Great Scott 1 sir," I exclaimed; " you've for- 
ever blasted the name of the British as true 
sportsmen. The fundamental principle, sir, 
governing all ram fights, from Calcutta to 
Cabul, is that the victor takes the beaten ram." 

The colonel's face turned ashy pale. That 
he had killed a score or more tribesmen was not 
the cause, for that had been a fair fight; but that 
he had done this thing was a disgrace— he saw 
that. 

" More than that," I exclaimed, excited by 
what had been said, and seizing the opportunity, 
254 



NAWAZ KHAN. GIFT OF ALLAH 

"the ram belonged to them in the first place 
He w,. the pride of their tribe. Somebody 
looted h.m, probably the man who brought him 
into the regiment— Yusuf." 

colIn"r '^° ''°" '""' "'"'• "'^" «"P»^ "« 

I explained. 

"What shall we do-wh^t shall we do?" 
moaned the colonel Iitlpl«s!v. 

»K-"-^T'"„?''''"'""^' '"'y^"»' "we must put 

enough-and they were in the right, too." 

As atonement, I offered to find Afzul the ner. 
day and explain matters. 

lowed up the tribesmen, and found Afzul J 
explamed it all. 

We had trounced them, we were in force, and 
he realized that what I said must be true. No 

htrbT:: zir^ ""'" ''' ''''"-'* ">- 

He accompanied me back to the camp. The 
Khan was turned over to him, and a good in- 
dcmnity paid for the dead tribesmen, for we 
were undoubtedly in the wrong. 

Afzu?"..T7 f'^'°^«^ ""y country," said 
Aizul. The fight was a good one." 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

BRYMNER-SMYTH was subinspector 
of police at Jacobabad, Beluchistan. 
He was also a Griffin, because young- 
sters in the service are so called. A Griffin costs 
his Majesty many sovereigns landed in India, 
so he is allowed seven major mistakes and many 
minor ones, before he is cast from the centers 
of utility, labeled a " king's bad bargain," and 
sent away to test climatic influences. And Brym- 
ner-Smyth all but relied his seven major mistakes 
into one at the tin.;, he was tried in the Sibi 
Desert. 

When Killock sent word from Hindiput that 
the Pathans and coolies were in mutiny, Brym- 
ner-Smyth was sent with six Punjabi police to 
put matters right. 

The military railway, slowly crawling toward 
the Bolan, had as yet reached but to Jacobabad, 
so the police and luggage were attached to 
camels, and Brymner-Smyth rode his Beluchi 
mare to Hindiput, eighty miles away. 
And because he was just a man-boy, inebriated 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

with the elation of his first responsibility, the 
barren Sibi Desert, that men call a godless waste, 
was to him that morning a field of cloth of gold, 
Pathans and looters and mutinous coolies hold 
prospect of promotive service. He would be a 
Bara Sahib at Hindiput, loo— the one in charge. 
The way lay over a dead sea; the breast of 
earth was barren and without fruitfulness; the 
horse's hoofs bit into the soulless sand with a 
slipping crunch; it was a blaring mirror that re- 
flected in his face the fierce heat his helmet 
shielded from above. His throat closed utterly 
and his lips corrugated into filelike ridges of 
crinkled parchment; even behind colored glasses 
his eyes fevered to redness. But these things, 
one and all, only gave the Griffin joy, for was it 
not the toil of emancipation ? 

In the afternoon of the second day he drew 
into a land beautiful; lakes of blue water, tur- 
quoise charms set in tawny gold; swaying palms 
traced like giant ferns against green hills that 
held, higher up, purple-hazed valleys; and slow- 
crawling down from the hills came camel cara- 
vans wending toward a city that must be Hin- 
diput. 

Eagerly Brymner-Smyth pushed his lean ewe- 
necked mare toward the land of promise; but 
with the coyness of a maiden the vista shrank 
2S7 



1. 






m^ 






' RF^i 



fl 



THIRTEEN MEN 

before his roused desire; and presently, without 
reason, the wondrous art thing that was a mirage 
blurred in the trembling heat that quivered in 
the desert furnace, and he stood at the elbow 
of Hindiput; there, in a grassless waste, a dozen 
mud-walled huts, flat-topped by corrugated iron, 
hot beds of ophthalmia, was the white-robed 
city he had seen in the mirage. 

At Jacobabad the Griffin's messmates, prolific 
in unwise humor, had enlarged upon the charms 
of Hindiput; priming the innocent one with false 
tales of rajahs' palaces and trade bazaars. 

The traveler slid from his roach-backed beast, 
rubbed his eyes inquiringly, and then, in the full- 
ness of his disillusionment, swore softly at the 
uncertainty of things in India, and the misuse 
that had been made of his credulity. 

Then he passed to a house which rose above 
the c.'iers; this might be a mirage or the habi- 
tation of Killock. 

As he stood in the door, a large matter of 
flesh swung itself from a charpoy and confronted 
him. It was Killock. And on Killock were 
these things — a short-sleeved banian and a pair 
of voluminous khaki trousers that, like a ram's 
horn, chronicled their age by wrinkles. 

And the man-boy with the riveted name, 
which was a caste mark equal to the Brahmin- 
as8 



THE BLOODING OF A GKIFFIN 

ical thread, sighed as the final mirage of a social 
Hindiput curled up and departed before the 
burly figure that was coffee-brown and huge of 
chest. 

That was the beginning; but progression 
was worse. It was as though fate had stabled 
together a thoroughbred and a rhino. 

Brymner-Smyth tied a tag of identification to 
die huge man which read " Navvy Killock," and 
Navvy Killock spent a day and a night— for he 
was sluggish of thought— over his black pipe 
before he evolved for the inspector "Lord 
Bobby." But when the name came there was 
no doubt about its applicability. 

" 'E puts on airs like a bloomin' lord, an' 'e's 
nothink but a bloody cop— that's what 'e is 
Mister bloomin' Smith-Bounder— Lord Bobby,' 
I'll call 'im." Then he took a swig of gin and it 
was settled. 

It wouldn't have mattered so much had there 
been anything for the inspector to do, but there 
wasn't; his mission was inaction, which is the 
father of curses in India. The turbulence of the 
natives was but a fantasy of Killock's gin-heated 
imagmation. He had harked back to his pri- 
mary condition of life over a work discussion 
with some Marwari coolies, injudiciously seek- 
ing to make the matter clear to their understand- 
259 



t I 



J .' 



THIRTEEN MEN 

ing with his fists; they, being men of Marwar, 
took up the matter with cudgels. That was all 
there was to it. 

Killock had been bom in a caul of economy, 
and he had tortured this virtue till in his case it 
became a vice. Whatever the Griffin was in the 
way of verdancy, he was above meanness; and 
Killock, taking him as legitimate prey, drank his 
liquor and smoked his cheroots, and ate his pro- 
visions, until the boy walked to one side in the 
desert at night, and lifted up his voice to the sky 
that was knee-doep in stars: " Hindiput and Kil- 
lock— Killock and Hindiput 1 My God! was 
there ever such a combination ! " 

In the Navvy's bungalow, beside a thermom- 
eter, hung a penciled record with a long row of 
figures running from loo to 121 in the shade— 
a temperature which might have set two holy 
fathers at each other's throats, and the Navvy's 
covetousness and greasiness of thought added 
five degrees to this Sheol. 

Brymner-Smyth's hyphened name, insignia of 
all that Killock was not, proved an irritant, a 
fly blister of utterance. 

" Mister Bloomin' Smith — that's wot 'e is," 
Killock told his pipe; "it's too bloody 'ot to 
wear a hovercoat on a bloke's name." 

The truth was, Killock couldn't master it at 
260 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

all. "Brimmer-Smith, Captain Brim-Smithe " 
—a dozen such entanglements the Navvy landed 
in when he essayed the real thing. When he 
was gin-loaded, which was always in the even- 
ing, he fell back on plain " Mister Smith." 

When the Griffin remonstrated with serious 
gentleness, Killock retorted: " Wot th' 'ell's the 
diPrence in this blawsted 'ole? Jus' leave the 
double-breasted name 'angin' on a peg with yer 
dress suit at 'eadquarters ; it's too 'ot 'ere fer 
style. Comfort's a heap better'n hetiquette, I 
sez." 

But two white men bound together in a sand- 
pit in a desert must foregather, and the Griffin 
tried cards as likely to render Killock possible at 
times. But the Navvy thumped the table and 
blew the twang of his rank pipe into the inspect- 
or's face; and, the end of it all, allowed his fat 
fingers to manipulate the ivory counter past all 
toleration. 

" Heavens ! was there ever such a beast ! " 
Brymner-Smyth confided to his charpoy as he 
threw himself on its rope-woven web the night 
Killock had cheated at whist. 

The inspector had sent a written report to 

Jacobabad by a Pathan on a fast-riding camel, 

with the uselessness of his mission at Hindiput 

enlarged upon; but Major Eustace shoved it into 

261 



^1 






ii 



I 






I '? 



THIRTEEN MEN 

a pigeonhole of futurity with a little contracting 
of his grim features. 

The major had a hobnailed liver, and Brym- 
ner-Smyth had been just a touch irritating with 
his undimatic desire for endeavor. The India 
OfSce had a disconcerting way of sending out 
shoals of youngsters, as yearlings are sent up 
to the sales at Newmarket, and it was the duty 
of wearied elders in the service to deposit them 
in harmless places. The major had done fairly 
well by the Griffin that came his way, in side- 
tracking him at Hindiput, he thought. 

So Brymner-Smyth sat day after day on the 
bank of earth the coolies had thrown up from 
the huge tank they were digging, seeking to 
disentangle from the nebulous sky line a real 
camel man bringing him orders of release. And 
always on the rim of one horizon a ball of white- 
hot metal shot into the air, and climbed, soul-sear- 
ing, over their heads for hours and hours till it 
dropped from sight on the other rim. That was 
the ever-recurrent form of a day in Hindiput. 

Sometimes Navvy Killock would come and sit 
beside the boy, and, oyster-like, open up and 
vomit forth pearls of thought. 

" Wot th' 'ell is the Gov'ment goin' to do 
with this 'ole in the ground — that's what beats 
me. They ain't no water 'ere, an' it never rains, 
262 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

an' I'm blowed if I see the good of a tank where 
there ain't no water." 

Brymner-Smyth didn't know, and said so; 
and Killock, weary with the stupendous, unsolv- 
able mystery, would wind up with " some hofEce 
bloke's got the hidea as a tank's needed 'ere, I 
s'pose, an' I reckons if they pays me my bit fer 
lookin' arter the job, it's no haffair of mine." 

The inspector might have remained marooned 
on the sands of Hindiput till in desperation he 
committed hara-kiri, had not a complication with 
tribesmen up Dehra way made a sudden call for 
men on the head office. 

So to the waiting one came a blue envelope 
with orders to report at Dehraonthe20th. Also 
there was official inkling of stirringservice ahead. 
That was the i6th. Dehra was in the foot- 
hills, two days' march away, which left two days 
of Killock. No wonder the boy took a handful 
of cigars to the man who had worn his patience 
threadbare. 

When he told Killock of his going, the Nav- 
vy's pig eyes closed to a narrow slit. " That's 
a rum go, Cap'n Smythers. Who's goin' to keep 
the black soars from lootin' ? That's wot I arsk 
the Guv'ment. They'll puckorow heverythink, 
an' if I hinterfere, wot do I git?— a bloomin* 
butcher knife shoved hinto my belly." 
263 



\m 



f. ■*' 



t i 



':i^ >i 



U* 



THIRTEEN MEN 

The Nawy swallowed a glass of gin, drew 
the back of his hand across his mouth, and 
squinted suspiciously at the inspector. Had 
Lord Bobby been playing him double — been 
writing to get away without consulting him. 

And as Brymner-Smyth swung back to his 
I m hut, Killock, watching him going, muttered : 
" That blawsted toff wants to get back where 
there's swells; 'e don't care if I'm killed, an' my 
ole 'oman an' the kids starve." 

Then he looked at the thin penciled line of 
blood driven from the heart of the thermometer 
by the fierce heat till it rested atop at 117, and 
exclaimed, "God I wot a 'ole to fry in!" 
[The he went out and hurled strange Hindoo- 
stanee oaths at a Pathan camel man who under- 
stood only Pushtu, which was just as well for the 
Navvy.] 

The record of Killock's gentle ways would be 
as useless in this story as the history of a river 
mugger's existence, were it not that no man could 
judge the Griffin when he did the thing that he 
did if Killock's part were left out. 

On the next day, the 17th, two natives lay 
sick in the cooly lines, and Killock, whom the 
fates had ordained to the misplacement of all 
things, swore they were malingering. 

But Baboo Ramchunder, the Bengali apothe- 
264 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

cary. diagnosed the caies according to the ver- 
bose method of his kind. " The pathology of 
their sick IS vertigo, also prostration of appetite, 
because they absteme from rice," he said 

This seemed to settle the thing, and Brymner- 
S)myth thought no more of the sick coolies, be- 
cause he was on the edge of going away and the 
things of Hindiput were things to be left behind 
At noon on the 1 8th his Punjabis left with the 
luggage-laden camels. They would camp over- 
night at a serai on the road, and the inspector, 
leaving before daylight next morning, would 
overtake them. 

An hour after the Punjabis had left, the heart 
of Hindiput stood still with fear. Panic, that 
speaks all languages, that is as universal as a 
sob, touched the hearts of the Pathans and the 
Marwari coolies, the big, flabby heart of Navvy 
Killock, and-and crept a little into the soul of 
the Gnflin. 

One man was dead, and the baboo, who was 
a doctor out of courtesy of speech, had now dis- 
covered It was cholera. 

" It is this way with the pestilential aflliction, 
that when patient is defunct diagnosis is abso- 
lute and cholera has smited Ram Baksh and also 
Uhiloo. who is his brother." Thus he summed 
up the startling situation. 
265 



" I ( 



":} 



THIRTEEN MEN 

The Griffin wat but a boy, thi» we must re- 
member. In battle he would have ducked at the 
icreech of the fint ihell and ducked again until 
he had been blooded. His face went white, and 
his soul ducked at the baboo's patter. 

In an hour Hindiput was a death trap. The 
hot air vibrated with fear— the breath of the 
black scourge seemed in every man's nostrils. 
The Pathans fled with their camels, and when 
men sought conveyance they drew long knives 
and drove them off. Anyone might have germs 
of disease on his person, and those who could 
get away sought to flee alone; to wander out 
afoot on the desert was worse than to remain. 

The frightened ones had seen Ram Baksh, 
his blue fingers driven nail-deep into the palms 
of his watery hands; his bloodless lips festooned 
with the bubbling froth of death as he lay rigid 
as steel, his head and knees drawn together. 

And the baboo, great in incapacity, knowing 
not of the destroying thing, had given jalap, 
which was as efficacious as the sufferer's invo- 
cation to Siva the Destroyer for mercy. And 
another man was now on his back — either of 
fear or the scourge — and the natives were sore 
afraid. 

Brymner-Smyth was practically a "casual " ; 
in actuality he had removed himself from the 
266 






THE BL0OD7NG OF A GRIFFIN 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

and see the thing through," the boy said with a 
query in his voice. 

Killock tipped his huge body forward on the 
stool till his alcoholic breath blew a mist in the 
boy's face ; his small eyes were like red beads in 
a yellow matrix, fear and cunning jostling each 
other in their narrow holding. 

" Look ee 'ere, sir, 'tain't yer hoffice to fight 
cholera no more'n it's mine. Yer can't do 
nothink here but get tuk yerself ; an' the Guv'- 
ment wouldn't thank y'u if y'u was dead, would 
they? Y'u shift to-night, d'ye 'ear? " 

" I must do my duty whichever way it lies." 

The words rang true enough, but Killock's 
ears were adder's ears, deaf with the poison of 
fright. 

" To 'ell wi' dooty I ain't you got no women 
iolks to 'ome — no mother or sweetheart waitin' 
feryou?" 

The boy looked curiously at the fat man, who 
was full of unconscious tragedy. Had he mis- 
judged the barbarian — had Killock really a 
good heart? He was soon answered. 

"That's my hidea of hit. My ol' woman 
an' the kids, they're a-livin' in a cottage hout 
Clapham Road w'y, an' there's roses a-bloomin' 
in the garden, an' marigolds, an' the robins is 
'oppin' habout, an' the larks a-singin' — that's 
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THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

wot she sens in a letter. An' be I goin' t' die 
in this 'ere God-forsaken 'ole, an' git planted 
like a cooly in th' sand, wi' rocks atop to keep 
the jackals an' hyeiiers from rootin' me hup? 
Nex' year I was a-goin' 'ome — d'ye 'ear?— 
a-goin' 'ome to th' ol' woman. That's where 
I wants t' die— in ol" Hengland, where they puts 
roses an' white flowers on a man's grrve! " 

The boy held his breath ; the dreadful earnest- 
ness of the frightened Killock was dramatic. 

" It's hin the water wot that pagan Pathan 
brings in his filthy leather bottles on his camels. 
That's why I've had me tot o' gin— I knowed 
It 'ud come. An' a man wot stays 'ere might 
be tuk in a hour. An' s'pose I'm tuk wi' it, th' 
niggers'll clear hout— not a mother's son of 
|em'll come near a white man when 'e's tuk, 
'cause they're white-livered swine. Y'u take my 
word fer it, Cap'n, you've got yer borders 
to go, an' jus' cut aw'y from th' bloody 'ole 
—it stinks wi' th' cholera. An' I'm goin' wi' 
you." 

Brymner-Smyth knew— the silk purse was but 
a sow's ear. 

You've got to stay here— you're in charge," 
he said deliberately. 

"I'm not goin'— 'ow d'you make that hout? 
I hain't got no right t' stay 'ere an' die— I hain't 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

no doctor; the baboo's doctor 'ere — 'c's paid t' 
take chances." 

" But you're in charge of the baboo; you keep 
the medicine chest. If you leave, he'll clear out. 
You're responsible." 

"Responsible be blowedl Will the Guv'- 
ment be responsible for my ol' woman an' kids 
if I die?" 

" I don't know anything about that," Brym- 
ncr-Smyth answered; "but you can't go with 
me. God, maii, it would be deserting your post, 
and I would be a party to it 1 " 

" Desertin' 1 hain't you desertin' ? You're 
like the Bara Sahib at 'eadquarters, 'e'U be at 
the mess drinkin' 'is hiced peg; an' wot does 'e 
care if I'm 'ere dyin' o' cholera? — no more 
do you. See 'ere, youngster" — and Killock 
clutched the boy's jacket — " we'll cut aw'y to- 
gether. If you st'y 'ere you'll die, sure as 
'eaven. We're 'uddled like pigs in a sty, an' 
wot one's got all'll get. I'm caught hin a trap, 
I tell you. 'Ow'm I goin' to get a 'undred miles 
in the desert? — I'd 'ave sunstroke. Take me 
wi' you till we catch hup yer men — I'll pay 
hanythink you like fer a lift on a camel." 

" Go back to your bungalow," Brymner- 
Smyth answered, " and let me think this hor- 
rible thing all out." 

370 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

Killock obeyed without a word, and the boy 
went through a process that he called thinking. 
It was hardly that— it was more like listening 
to the bells. 

Even Killock had said he ought to go, and 
that was something: in reality, he was afraid— 
which was everything. 

Panic impregnates the air with germs that 
poison every living thing that breathes them. 
So the boy, into whose being these imps of un- 
reason had crept, groping blindly, became pos- 
sessed of but two ideas: he would go away, it 
was his duty; and Killock must remain, it was 
his duty. 

When it grew dark, Brymner-Smyth put the 
saddle on his mare am . jde toward Killock's 
bungalow. He couldn't quite go away without 
speaking to the Navvy: it meant another scene, 
but he couldn't help it. 

The scene was a scene. 

When Hindiput was without cholera, Killock 
drank much gin; now, because of the scourge, 
he poured it down. 

It was little short of a madman that lurched 
from the bungalow, and learning from the in- 
spector's lips that he was to remain, called the 
curses of all gods. Christian and patjan, upon 
the milk-sustained babe in the saddle. 
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" I'm tuk now, I tell you," he said, " my ol' 
woman'll curse you to her dyin' day. There's 
gripes in my belly now as 'ud cut th' 'e&rt out 
of a ox. You're cuttin' hit — you're a hofficer 
as runs aw'y an' leaves a Tommy to get shot." 

Fear guided the vocabulary of Killock. It 
veered him as the wind twists a weathercock; 
one minute the inspector was to go, the next he 
was cursed for not remaining. 

" I'm sorry, but my staying will do no good; 
besides, I can't — I've got my orders." 

As he spoke the inspector chirruped to his 
horse. With an oath, Killock lurched forward 
and grasped the snaffle ring of the bridle. 

" Look 'ere, Mister Cop, I goes wi' you, or 
you st'ys wi' me. I hain't stickin' alone to th' 
sinkin' ship — 'ear that? " 

" Take your hand off the bridle I " 

" 'Ere, come hout o' the saddle I " and Kil- 
lock's disengaged hand clawed at the boy's gai- 
ters, fumbling for a finger-hold. 

Brymner-Smyth leaned over the pommel, and 
the butt of his riding whip landed on the gorilla- 
like wrist that was dragging the horse's nose to 
its shoulder. The Navvy's arm dropped to his 
side, where it hung limp as a stocking on a 
clothesline. The mare swerved at the sudden 
freeing of her head and plunged forward. 
272 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

The boy let her go. In his ears the speed- 
thc-guest of Killock: "You 'it me, you swipe I 
Come back 'ere an' I'll daw yer 'eart out, you 
cowardly swaggering bobby ! " 

The mare was galloping, and the passion 

words came in little puffs, and presently were 

obliterated by distance; the last sound reaching 

the boy from the mud waUs of pestilence was 

coward." 

The mare's shoeless hoofs echoed the dismal 
word from the sunburned crust of the desert 
—"Cowardly coward— cowardly coward!" 
the galloping refrain, and all because the rider 
was handicapped with a lead cloth of doubt. 

In half a mile the mare shifted her fore legs 
and slipped into the shuffling trot of the country, 
bred. The road was a furrow worn by the pad 
feet of camels, reaching toward the Sulieman's 
where was Dehra. 

The boy's head rested on his chest, thinking, 
thinking in a blurred way that led to nothing, 
his eyes seeing not the star-jeweled sky above 
that was a vast aigrette, almost musical in its 
brilliancy; below, the desert, gray in the night 
light, was like smooth waters. 

As though he had slept in the saddle, without 
knowledge of the two hours that had gone, sud- 
denly from the gray waste a blank mud wall 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

confronted him — it was the serai wherein the 
Punjabis were to await his coming. 

One of the men took the horse, and the in- 
spector, scarce speaking, threw himself on his 
blankets and tried to shut out the scene that 
caused his eyes to bum. 

Sleep ! It passed without claiming from Pun- 
jabi to Punjabi, and then mocked him from their 
faces of content. 

Why did his mind wrestle with the problem 
he had settled — he was obeying orders ? Also, 
he was a coward — some voice that was a lying 
voice screamed it through a hole in the mud wall, 
or perhaps it was one of the sleepers had said it, 
or perhaps it was an echo of the drunken Kil- 
lock's voice. 

Brymner-Smyth rose, turned low the lantern, 
slipped from the serai, and out on the desert; 
asked the stars — or perhaps it • as the Arranger- 
of-the-Stars — for some sign that would smother 
to silence the voices of doubt. But in the book 
of stars is written nothing of GrifSns, or cholera, 
or fear, and on the desert is stamped but 
desolation. He went back to his blanket, 
his mind numbed to uselessness as a guide to 
right. 

At two o'clock the desert trail cast something 
in at the door. It was a Beluchi camel man, 
274 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

with a desire to talk of how the black scourge 
was even then at Hindiput. 

Allah! whose name be ever blessed, but he 
had c. me near to disaster. He had stopped at 
the accursed village, and at once a Hindoo dog, 
a baboo of animal descent, had besought him 
for conveyance out of Hindiput. The sahib, 
fat, and a wine drinker, had been stricken— 
perhaps even now he was dead. Yes, the baboo 
hakm had said the sahib had cholera, and that 
he would surely die. 

The boy had been asking for a sign from the 
stars, or out of the desert. It had been given him. 
_^ Quick I saddle the mare! " he commanded. 
Huzoor, if the captain sahib goes to Hin- 
diput, this evil thing will come upon the sahib 
beyond doubt," his men answered. 

"Will any one volunteer to go with me?" 
Brymner-Smyth asked. " Of the Sirkar's or- 
ders, you may go to Dehra; of my asking, will 
any go back to the saving of lives? " 

But the Punjabis answered that they were 
men of large families— if they died their little 
babas would starve. Also the Sirkar's orders 
were to be obeyed, because they ate the salt of 
the Sirkar. 

"Who is at Dehra I know not," the in- 
spector told his men, " but make report there 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

that I have gone back to Hindiput because of 
cholera, and will come again to Dehra 

when " 

The boy stopped to think, and one of his 
Punjabis carried on the interrupted sentence 
with, " the captain sahib will come to Dehra in 
the pleasure of Kudah " (God). 

Brymner-Smyth mounted his mare and rode 
back in the camel rut that was a road, and fear 
had fallen from him and the panic had passed. 
He was blooded in cholera, and the problem 
was settled, and, hard riding, through his set 
teeth he prayed that he might come, in the way 
of atonement, to the side of Killock while still 
he lived. 

The light was breaking as the inspector, com- 
ing to the stricken village, met a white-clothed 
figure puddling along the road. It was the 
baboo. The Bengali's jaw dropped in aston- 
ished fear when he saw the sahib. 

"Where are you off to?" Brymner-Smyth 
asked, as he pulled up his mare. 

The baboo blinked his big solemn eyes and 
wrestled with his wits for an answer. 

"Deserting?" 

" No, sahib, taking constitutional." 

" Don't lie — you're running away. How is 
the sahib — is he dead? " 
276 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

" Yes, yoji honor, he is defunct. Coma com- 
ing, and, notwithstanding injunction from me, 
Killock Sahib is taking copious draughts of gin, 
and then yielded up the ghost." 

" And you got scared and cleared out." 
" No, your honor. I'm a poor man, not 
learned with knives and fighting. And cooly 
mans telling they will kill because I give them 
bad medicine, they say. Because of that wicked- 
ness on the cooly mans' part, I have come out 
here to summon help." 

"You're a great liar, baboo," Brymner- 
Smyth answered, " and . ■ ought to be kicked." 
Already he was forgetting his own fright that 
had been. " Come with me; we must do what 
we can," he added. 

And as thev rounded the end of Killock's 
bungalow they licard the dead man's voice call- 
ing, " Baboo!— oh, I'm sick! Baboo! " 

Brymner-Smyth looked at Ramchunder, and 
he, shifting uneasily under the glance, said, 
" Coma has passed, but the sahib will defunct 
soon." 

They passed into the house. Hillock was on 

his charpoy, and the cholera had eaten up the 

repulsive coarseness of his for.-n until he was 

gaunt. 

At sight of the inspector, his dull, heavy eyes 

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THIRTEEN MEN 

brightened. " You— you've come back, cap'n. 
God be thanked! I'm tuk— I knowed it 'ud 
come." He bum into tears and sobbed like a 
babe. 

Brymner-Smyth put his hand on the sick man's 
forehead. " Don't give up, Killock; we'll pull 
you through all right," he said. 
" I'm done for," the Navvy answered plain- 

tively. " God help us; my ol' woman 'ill " 

Then the sickness doubled him up, and for 
ten -ninutes he writhed and was sick. 

The Griffin had a strong polo wrist, but he 
was a babe in the matter of illness. 

" Great Heavens, baboo I What do you stand 
there blinking for? Give the man something 
— he'll die on our hands." 

" Yes, sar, I am cogitate diagnose for proper 
draught. Best authorities advise chlorodyne. 
But already, sahib, I have given planfy big dose, 
and always the sahib redelivering back again. 
Also, he is reproach most blasphemous." 

The baboo poured much medicine down the 
sick man, who now, subdued by fear, did not 
curse the physician. 

Ignorant though he was of the effects of chol- 

era, Brymner-Smyth fancied that the Navvy's 

bullock-like constitution was making a great 

fight against the disease; he certainly was not in 

278 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

the itate of collapse the baboo had pictured, and 
the boy's coming seemed to have lessened the 
fear that would surely have killed him had he 
been left alone. 

" 'Eavens, it bums I " Killock wailed, as the 
liquid scoria singed its way down his throat. 
" I've sufccred hawful, sir." He lay still for 
a little, panting with the pain. The morphine 
element in the drug soothed him now, and, turn- 
ing from his immedia'e fear of dissolution, he 
hariced back to what d gone before. 

" I've been a bit rough, cap'n, an' I begs to 
'pologize. All along o' the drink I called y'u 
a bloody coward, an' 'ere y'u are , 'ero, takin' 
chances o' th' cholera an' a-nursin' e. I don't 

want to die wi' no hard feelin's " 

" There, there, don't say anything," the boy 
interrupted. "You're not going to die— we 
won't let you. I lost my temper like a young 
ass, and I want you to forgive me." 

"It was a-comin' to me all along o' my 
swearin'. If— if I pegs hout, ye'U see that 
heverythink is done proper, won't y'u; an' 
you'll send th' papers an' things 'ome to th' ol' 
woman ? " 

Then the opiate— the baboo had admini*. 
tered the dose for an ox— drowsed Killock, and 
babbling sleepily of roses and marigolds and 
279 



THIRTEEN MEN 



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the "ol' woman," he fell asleep, and the boy, 
taking the baboo, went to the cooly lines. 

The frightened Ramchunder's story of muti- 
nous natives was, like the rest of it, all a lie, en- 
gendered by his fear of the inspector's anger 
at his desertion. 

And the cholera was spreading but slowly: 
three men stricken since the death of the first 
patient. With >pathetic resignation some of the 
sick men's relatives still clung to them, while the 
other coolies were scattered about on the desert 
beyond the mud walls of the village. 

The boy's hour of trial had passed, and now 
he had no fear. Ashamed of the weakness that 
had come to him, he was even reckless. More 
than once the baboo cautioned him as he did 
something for the stricken coolies. 

As Brymner-Smyth, followed by Ramchun- 
der, passed from one hut to another, he saw a 
camel swinging up the road from Jacobabad. 
Well he knew that easy pacing shamble — it was 
a Bikaneer racing camel, carrying some one who 
came in haste. The long spindly legs wove :n 
and out with the rapidity of urged speed, and 
in the double saddle, behind the driver, sat a 
European. 

Brymner-Smyth stepped into the shade of a 
hut, leaned against its mud wall and waited. 
280 



THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

The camel raced to where he stood, and at a 
pull from the nose cord knelt with bubbling re- 
monstrance at his feet. Then the sahib, whose 
face was dust-plastered till it was like a terra- 
cotta mask, flung himself from the saddle, and 
the boy saw that it was Surgeon Saunders from 
headquarters. "Abrupt" Saunders, as irrev- 
erent India called him. 

"Halloo! Gad, glad you're here, young- 
ster," the surgeon cried eagerly, wiping the per- 
spiration from his forehead. " Knew you'd got 
the route, and was afraid you were off to Dehra. 
Half-expected to find no one but dead and dying 
here— these fellows get panicky when cholera 
comes." 

" How'd you know of it, sir? " 
" Camel man brought khubber (news) to Ja- 
cobabad; s'pose he cleared out from it— I've 
ridden all night. Is it bad— is it pukka Asiatic 
cholera, baboo — many dead? Any of your 
Punjabis down, inspector? " 

" My men have gone to Dehra," Brymner- 
Smyth answered, and to himself he answered, 
"Thank God, I haven't I" 

"By Jove, youngster, that's pluck!— sent 
them out of harm's way and faced the thing 
yourself, eh? 'Tisn't every Griff' would do 
that first time of asking." 
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The boy flushed and squirmed uneasily under 
the praise. 

" It's a wonder you didn't bolt, baboo." 

Then also Ramchunder squirmed and looked 
apprehensively at the inspector; but they were 
both in the same boat, and silence was a jewel- 
studded ring of gold. 

The surgeon unshipped the medicine case 
from the camel's back, saying cheerily, " Let's 
get to work, baboo — ^where are the cases?" 
" Only three? " he said presently, when he had 
seen the stricken ones. "That's good; we'll 
check it. One will die sure, his spleen's the size 
of a Chedder cheese ; that itself would kill him. 
We may pull the other two through though." 

"Also Killock Sahib is prostrate with this 
affliction," the baboo said, when the surgeon had 
finished his examination of the three. 

"What I a European down? Where is he? 
Lead the way, baboo." 

" Yes, sar," Ramchunder answered, as they 
made their way to the bungalow. " Inspector 
Sahib here is nurse Killock Sahib like his own 
female mother. Already the patient is defunct 
many times of coma and complication if In- 
spector Sahib does not preserve his life. All 
night Inspector Sahib giving medicine and keep- 
ing from decease the sahib who is inoculated 



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THE BLOODING OF A GRIFFIN 

with cholera. Also, I am make professional 
effort to save the patient." 

Ramchunder was lying with tortuous facility 
to the end that Brymner-Smyth might be mol- 
lified into silence. 

^^ The little surgeon whisked about and said: 
" Gad, boy I this affair won't hurt you any in the 
service— I'll take care of that in my report. I 
knew a cub once that acted differently." 

The inspector was in agony. He cried in 

despair, " Sir, I don't deserve " 

"Tut, tut, man— modest, eh? That won't 
do in India— not in the police, anyway. If 
you'd cleared out you'd have got cashiered. 
You re here at your post, and that's the way it 
goes in my report." 

" Yes, sar," broke in the baboo hurriedly, for 
fear the inspector would speak again, " also I 
am retaining official post, and every cooly plenty 
much afraid, too, your honor." 
"Inhere, is he?" 

They were at the door of the bungalow. The 
surgeon stalked briskly to the charpoy, on which 
lay Killock. 

Brymner-Smyth waited breathlessly, watch- 
ing the surgeon's face. For days he had liter- 
ally loathed this rough man, and now he felt as 
though a brother's life hung in the balance 
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Three minutes of investigation, and then 
Saunders, facing about, his gray eyes piercing 
Ramchunder, asked, " Have you been treating 
this man for cholera, baboo? " 

"Yes, your honor; giving plenty medicine; 
because of this he is not prematurely deceased." 

" Baboo, you're a confounded fool. This 
man has no more cholera than I have — he's got 
a bad dose of funk, and has lushed gin till he's 
nearly in the D. T.'s." 

" Wot's that, doctor— be'n't I got cholera? " 
and Killock, swinging his legs to the floor, sat 
up and blinked incredulously at the surgeon. 

" No, you haven't, worse luck. You've nearly 
stopped your heart going with gin and panic." 

With a sigh of relief Navvy Killock fell back 
on the bed exclaiming, " God bless yer 'eart, 
doctor, my ol' 'oman 'ill be glad." 

And in the bungalow fate had arrayed a safe 
trinity of silence. Baboo, Navvy, a.id Griffin. 



a84 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

IF a man go into a dark pantry and drink 
from the first bottle he puts his hand on, 
he may get wine, or stove polish, or cream, 
or disinfectant. If he stand well with the gods 
he may get cream, but the average explorer will 
hit upon the bottle of disinfectant. 

Many offices in India are filled on this dark- 
pantry plan; and the office of police nabob of 
Calcutta had drawn a queer decoction for its 
head. Officially, he was not called police na- 
bob; that is only a story-teller's license. This 
story is about the time Eden-Powell was nabob. 
People asked why he had been pushed up to 
that place; but nobody answered them, and they 
passed on to other things. 

The nabob was always discovering some- 
thing — some tremendous conspiracy among the 
natives. If some caste took to painting their 
knees crimson, that meant another mutiny was 
on the tapis, and if Eden-Powell didn't watch 
sharply the British Raj would be swept out of 
an Indian existence. 

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When Sen Mullick gave the nautch (dance) 
out at Hathabad, near Calcutta, Eden-Powell 
felt that the time had come for him to distin- 
guish himself. A contemplative goat would 
have characterized the thing he did as stupid, 
but Powell felt that he had received an in- 
spiration. 

Sen Mullick was one of the black sheep the 
nabob had written down as second cousin to 
Nana-Sahib. At this nautch there would be 
some mischief hatched, and he'd find out all 
about it for himself. 

That was why he got the disguise. It was a 
decorative thing — this disguise — a long, un- 
kempt beard and wig, purchased in detachments 
from different hairdressers; and an up-country 
native's outfit of clothes, silk-embroidered vest 
and all. 

Not a soul knew about it but the nabob him- 
self. When he had saved the empire, and could 
place his hand on the shoulder of the leader of 
the new revolt, he would declare himself, but 
not till then. 

The beard bothered him a bit — also the wig. 
They weren't sufficiently attachable, it seemed 
to him ; the soft wires passing over his ears were 
quite inadequate to the desired stability of the 
make-up ; so he had his bearer bring him from 
a86 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

the bazaar an adhesive compound warranted to 
cement oil and water together. 

Eden-Powell lived at the big hotel, and the 
night of the nautch at MuUick's place he went 
to dinner in evening dress, as usual. 

A man can't have all these big things on his 
mind and contain them without showing a bit 
queer; so when the nabob disappeared after din- 
ner he left behind, somehow, an impression that 
he was going a trifle dotty. It was probably a 
touch of sun. That is a common enough thing 
in India; so it would not have mattered much if 
it had not been used rather extensively in trying 
to account for the sudden disappearance of 
Powell later on. 

When he left the table he went to his room, 
packed his disguise in a hand bag, slipped quietly 
down the stairs, passed the durtuan, walked a 
block, and engaged a gharry (carriage) just by 
the entrance to Government House. He had 
done all this in so methodical a manner that the 
elation of success already began to creep into his 
marrow. By Jove ! if the thing came off he'd 
get a " C. S. I." or some other tag labeling him 
as a great man in that land of great men. 

The lean, coffee-colored driver of the gharry 
stretched over in his high-perched seat and 
looked closely at the sahib who had ordered him 
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THIRTEEN MEN 

to drive to Sen Mullick's. That was diplo- 
matic; for it was a good four miles to Mullick's 
place, and some of the sahibs were painfully in- 
different as to their ability to pay for the luxury 
of a cab. The look satisfied Sunda. The sahib 
was round-faced and fat, therefore prosperous; 
the clothes were such as capitalists wore. 

Satisfied as to the prospect of pay, Sunda 
labored faithfully with expressive Hindoo ad- 
jectives and k long-lashed whip at the skinny 
fats (ponies) that pulled his gharry. 

Inside, Powell nabob attached himself to his 
disguise. It was a laborious undertaking, in- 
ducing much profane thought, for the gum 
arabic, or whatever he had got from the bazaar, 
clung to everything it touched with an appalling 
persistency. A porous plaster was like the touch 
of velvet as compared with the amorous embrace 
of the wig and beard on Powell's head and face. 
He felt that whatever else befell, the hirsute 
part of his disguise would stick to him. Also 
was he tolerably certain of the lasting qualities 
of the tan skin dye he rubbed on face and hands. 
He chuckled softly when he thought of the 
consternation it would spread among the con- 
spirators when they knew that the police nabob 
had been among them. 

When Sunda arrived at Mullick's he jumped 
288 



m 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

down opened the gharry door, and peered into 
Ae .ntenor w.th a broad smile of Welcome on 
h s face for the fat, chubby, youthful sahib. who 

had done h.n, the honor of selecting hi, gharry. 
An old man, who could have given many 

pomts m disreputable appearance to a hill fakir! 

emerged from the inner darkness. Sunda drew 

back w.th a weird feeling of most uncomfort. 

ab c aston.3hment. He took another look into 

fa e^ H u"a^' '"' ''^^ ^'* *' P'"«nt 
„!i .k I u . «°"'=-^»n«hed. There was 
only the disheveled thing in much-tangled hair 
and native garb. 

ca.J5r ^""c! ^'^- '^^^ P"*'"*" h' had 
earned was Shettan. the evil spirit, who some- 

times rode with gharry uutlla, before a great ill 
leJl upon them. 

The driver's lean, big-jointed knees tipped 
toward each other in drunken desolation. He 
clung to the door of the gharry, and steadied 
himself, as a harsh, thick voice muttered from 
the mastic-matted beard the order, "Bhitol" 
(wait for me). 

Eden-Powell passed into Mullick's compound 
(garden), and Sunda climbed wearily up to the 
battered seat of his arklike vehicle. There is 
not much charm in the ungilt life of a ticca 
gharry walla, but at that moment the misery of 
289 



THIRTEEN MEN 



i^i 



Sunda's existence wai intensified a hundredfold. 
Why had Sheitan selected him as a victim host? 
Years before, Sunda had sent his child wife to 
sleep with a dose of datura (poison), but it was 
so long ago that it could not be because of that. 
Even Baloo, who drove the big chestnut horse 
with the white face, and had also brought a 
fare to MuUick's nautch, could of?er him no con- 
solation when he told of the Satanic passenger. 
" It will bring you evil, brother," Baloo said. 
" It is always that way when he rides— evil, evil, 
nothing but evil." 

Then BalOo thought of something. "We 
will go and see Baboo Chunder Dey. He 
knows of these things, for they are written in 
the books he reads — those that are of our speech, 
and also those that have come over the black 
water from Bilati (England)." 

Where one baboo is thin, nine are fat and 
ponderous. Chunder Dey was one of the nine- 
tenths, and his mind of a greasy solemnity. " If 
they both said it was Sheitan, it might even be 
so, for the incongruosity of this thing was ex- 
patiated upon in the theosophical and metaphys- 
ical publications." That was what Baboo Dey 
said with grandiloquent unction, for next to 
ghee-battened food the baboo loves complex 
English. Sunda saw at once that Chunder Dey 
290 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

understood the thing. Sunda's simple ways 
were no match for the Evil One, but with Ba- 
boo Chunder it was quite different. 

Chunder pulled at his hookah (pipe) in re- 
flective gasps. The hookah bubbled back like 
a laden camel, and the drivers waited. 

"Why not catch this budmash (bad fei- 
low) ? " asked Chunder Dey at length. " There 
will be much gain in that — also honor. If SheU 
Ian is reincarnated, and gets into your gharry 
again, Sunda, we may catch him." 

And while Eden-Powell sat among the others 
and watched the nautch and listened for words 
of sedition, the baboo gathered unto himself 
twelve lusty hirelings from the bazaar and in- 
structed them as to the capture of Sunda's pas- 
senger. He carefully concealed from them the 
fact that this was supposed to be Sheitan. 

When Eden-Powell left the nautch in disgust 
at the paucity of mutinous conspiracies he fouTid 
Sunda waiting for him. He got into the gharry, 
and about a mile out ran into a reil, live, up-to- 
date mutiny. He had discovered it in reality; 
his long-dreamed-of revolt had materialized. 
That India was in a blaze from one end to the 
other he never doubted; but what concerned 
him more immediately was that he was consid- 
erably mauled, most effectually bound and 
291 



1 



THIRTEEN MEN 

gagged by means of an evil-smelling breech 
cloth shoved into his mouth, carried off, and 
cooped up in a little heathen temple called 
Ootypara. 

The capture had been most successful. Sun- 
da was overjoyed; he promised to carry Chunder 
Dey back and forth to the city free of charge 
for a whole year. 

Eden-Powell's bag containing the evening 
clothes had been left in his gharry — that was 
all that was left of the round, fat sahil the 
Evil One had spirited away. Sunda took the 
clothes down to the Hugli, and threw them in 
the river. The bag he sold in Rada Bazaar for 
three rupees, and thus secured payment of his 
fare in a roundabout way. 

A sampan boatman fi^ed up the clothes and 
turned them over to a policeman. The police- 
man took them to the station, and there was 
read on the band " Eden-Powell." Also Eden- 
Powell was missing. It was really useless to 
look for him, for was not all this proo ' that he 
had drowned himself? Everybody suddenly 
remembered that the nabob had been queer for 
a long time. The second mutiny fad had un- 
hinged his mind to a certainty, and the night he 
had disappeared he had been quite mad at din- 
ner — quite mad ; all remembered that. To drag 
292 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

the Hugli would be like dragging the cloud*— 
«• u .-lesi. A six-mile current and a flood and 
ebb tide made an undertow that lucked down 
big ships when they touched bottom as though 
they were eggshells. 

Eden-Powell was drowned; there was no 
doubt whatever about that. The notice went 
out, and a new man was put in his place. Chun- 
der Dey read of these things, and fed his pris- 
oner, Shettan, through a hole in the door of the 
temple at Ootypara, and in nowise connected 
him with the nabob of the Calcutta police. 

That Eden-Powell was furious is one way of 
putting it. He even tore down little bits of 
plaster from the strong, brick wall? in his rage, 
and shied them at the fat. greasy lace of Chun- 
der Dey as he gazed at him through the square 
opening in the door. But that made no differ- 
ence to the baboo. 

It took his mind many days to determine what 
he should do with his captive. At first Powell 
concealed his identity; it would hardly do to 
have it known that he had been shut up by a 
Bengali baboo. His prestige would be gone, 
and he would 
force. 



simply have to leave the 



At last, when he saw that there was small 
prospect of getting out, he told Chunder Dey 
293 



THIRTEEN MEN 

that he was the police nabob. At this the baboo 
smiled solemnly and said: 

" Eden-Powell, the police nabob, is dead. He 
drowned himself in the river, and they have 
found his bbdy. I am a ' B. A.' and have read 
these things in the publications." 

"Who the deuce am I, then?" asked the 
prisoner. 

" You are the Evil One," answered the ba- 
boo, blinking his cow eyes at Powell. 

Powell tried to remove the beard, but it was 
like a fresco that had been set in mortar. The 
skin he might pull off, but there was no severing 
the hair from it. His disguise had been a most 
emphatic success. 

Many natives heard of the capture of the 
Evil One, and came and stared with charming 
unconventionality at Powell, and passed uncom- 
plimentary remarks. The nabob was a good 
linguist, and these remarks revealed themselves 
to him in all the beauty of the native vernacu- 
lar. The trend of most of the criticisms on his 
personal appearance was that he was not even 
a respectable-looking Sheitan — did not come up 
to their conception of that awful incarnation. 

Then the baboo sat down and wrote a letter 
to the " Powers " in Calcutta anent his captive. 
He knew enough of official life to realize that 
294 



:l: t 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

if he hoped for any kudos (glory) for himself 
in the thing he must get at the chief magistrate, 
else the underlings would cheat him out of the 
credit of it; so he addressed his letter to the 
viceroy. 

Of course, the baboo was clear enough as to 
what he meant to convey in his epistle, but it 
can't be said that the production elucidated that 
point very satisfactorily. He wrote: 

•• By your ExceUency'. providential favor, last night the 
Satanic ruler of the place where alw Pluto will catch your 
ExceUency's enemies, did come among us at the time of Sen 
Mullick 8 naulch. I, who am Baboo Chunder Dey, B A 
am soUcitouj of an appointment in a Government office by 
the &vor of the sahibs, did advise Sunda to forcibly take 
possession of said Sheitan. 

"Also in said gharry was the bag, which I have not 
taken, or perhaps Sunda has sold. 

" Your ExceUency will know that this agent of Pluto, who 
IS Shtttan, did project himself from the body of a fat sahib 
»nd IS even now. with hirsute adornments like your Excel- 
lency has seen, a much penitent fakir. 

" Your humble petitioner craves and humbly begs that 
your Excellency will advise as to the adjustment or other- 
wise of the EvU Spirit who is now m the possession of your 



That was pretty much the state of the letter 
signed by Chunder Dey, and delivered by hand 
at Government House. 
295 



THIRTEEN MEN 



\^ 



% 



The secretary to the viceroy read it more or 
less, and was on the point of consigning it to 
the wastebasket when he remembered that the 
viceroy had a penchant for gathering unique 
and original manuscript as evolved from the 
brain of a baboo; so he submitted it to her 
Majesty's representative with the remark that 
the writer was evidently a large consumer of 
bhang, or opium, or both. 

Every viceroy has some predominant fad, 
and Lord Roma's was the ever-engaging inves- 
tigation of native character as allied to things 
spiritual. There was an incongruous air about 
this idea of a Bengali baboo having captured the 
King of Evil that tickled the viceroy's fancy im- 
mensely. 

He sent for Chunder Dey. The baboo left 
his durvian to guard Eden-Powell, and pre- 
sented himself before Lord Roma, feeling that, 
at last, the gods had sent him fortune. 

The august presence of the ruler of all the 
Indies unnerved him, and his account of the 
capture of Sheitan was a marvelous bit of dis- 
jointed imagination. The thing he had cap- 
tured by the aid of twelve stout henchmen had 
descended from the clouds to the top of Sunda's 
gharry. Sunda, who always spoke the truth, 
would bear him out in that, he asserted. That 
296 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

was near to the house of Sen Mullick. Then 
the thing that was assuredly Sheitan had one 
minute been like a sahib, and the next like a doe, 
and finally it was an evil-looking fakir. 

Everybody had run away because their livers 
turned to water in fright; only he, Chunder 
iJey, had remained, and captured this that was 
Shettan No one had helped him, because they 
were afraid; only the twelve stick men had been 
of assistance at the time of putting him in the 
temple which is at Ootypara. He had done all 
this for the good of the sahibs and their relig- 
ion; and if his Excellency would be kind enough 
to pass an order for his appointment in the reve- 
nue department it would be well. 

Taken altogether, it seemed to be enough 
to interest even the viceroy. So Lord Roma 
ordered that a policeman be sent out to bring 
•n this crazy fakir whom Chunder Dey had 
locked up in the temple. "They may kill the 
poor fellow, you know," he said to Lord Dick 
the secretary. 

An order was passed to police constable 
«- 914 to proceed in a gharry to Hathabad 
and bring in the native fakir from the Ooty- 
para temple. 

"C 914" was a red-faced Irishman lately 
recruited from a sai/' ' " - - - 



ailing ship, and he felt 
297 



) 



con- 



4 

I: 



THIRTEEN MEN 

siderably the importance of this his first real 
constabulary commission. When Eden-Powell 
saw the rosy face of " 914 " at the wicket in his 
prison door, he called out blithely, " How are 
you, my man?" 

" No familiarity, ye h'athen," responded 
"914" scornfully. "Say 'Sir' when ye see 
a sahib, or ye may get yer fuzzy head cracked, 
ye black spalpeen." 

The nabob gasped in astonishment. " I'll fix 
you for this insolence," he said with a fine return 
to his old pompous self. 

"Insolence, ye dirty fakir ye I" exclaimed 
"914," his Irish dander getting up. "An' 
ye'll fix me 1 I've heard that as soon as a naygur 
in this country learns English he gets cheeky, an' 
I belave it now." 

By this time the constable had the door open, 
and producing a pair of steel handcuffs from 
his pocke. rushed at the prisoner as though he 
were going to take a fall out of him in the Greco- 
Roman style. The new constable wasn't an 
adept at putting on the bracelets, but he had the 
strength of a bull, and soon Eden-Powell was 
securely shackled and considerably shaken up. 

" I'll discharge you from the force for this," 
he said pantingly as the constable with no gentle 
hand dragged him along toward the gharry. 
298 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 
" Oh yes," replied " 914 " derisively, " you'll 

ve e1?k' "t^ff *^ ^'«™y' *-. perhaps, 
ye Enghsh-spakm* beggar of a native. Come 
get m here, me Circassian beauty," he added, 
prodding the nabob in the ribs. "An* it'll be 
better form for you to be talkin' yer own native 
*«A; than gallivantin' with broken English " 

Eaen-Powell was horror-struck. He would 
rather die than that all this should get out. He 
Jelt like exasperating the Irishman until the lat- 
ter murdered him. Once or twice on the long 
dnve to Calcutta he tried to enter into conversa 
t.c.n with h.s guardian, but the latter, sitting bolt 
upright, ordered him to shut his bazoo, or talk 
to the native driver in his own language. 

It drives me fair mad," he said, " to hear 
you naygurs talkin' English. It was the likes 
of you that murdered all the women an' chil- 
dren in the ' black hole.' " 

When the nabob tried to remonstrate, " 914 " 
jabbed him in the ribs again with the end of his 
baton and told him to hold his whisht. Baboo 
iJey fc lowed behind in another gharry 

Lord Roma had ordered that the fakir be 
brought straight to Government House, for he 
had become deeply interested in the affair, and 
wanted to see just why the natives had pitched 
upon this man as a representative devil. 
** 299 



THIRTEEN MEN 



In under the pink-yellow stucco gate, lion- 
topped, "914" passed with his prisoner, and 
up the steps that led to the imposing guardian 
in crimson and yellow who held possession of 
Government House door; "911" stated his or- 
ders; the crimson-gold native disappeared, 
returned, and said, " Lord Sec'tary Sahib sends 
salams." 

They passed in, Chunder Dey with them, 
and, after a wait of twenty minutes in a hall, 
were ushered into the presence of the viceroy. 

Eden-Powell started impetuously forward 
when he saw the viceroy and Lord Dick, the 
secretary, sitting there. The powirful hand of 
"914" brought him back with a jerk that 
nearly dislocated his neck. " Kape still, ye 
h'athen," he hissed in his ear. " Salam the 
Lord Sahib." 

Chunder Dey salamed obsequiously and ad- 
dressed the viceroy. " Your Excellency, this is 
the maker of all evil, Sheitan." 

" Bring him closer," replied the viceroy. 

It was like a nightmare to Eden- Powell. If 
he gave his name or were recognized the far- 
cical absurdity of the thing would be sufficient 
to cost him his place, he felt sure. If he didn't 
he might be sent to jail as a troublesome fakir. 
It was a terrible situation ; as bad as a mutiny. 
300 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

"Does he u, demand English?" asked the 
viceroy. 

"Yes, your Excellency," replied Eden-Powell. 
The viceroy gave a slight start at the sound 
of the voice. It was most assuredly very Eng- 
hshhke. Powell saw th<- keen gray eyes fixed 
upon him with a peculiar intensity of expres- 
sion. "Your Excellency, this is all a mis- 
take— began Powell, when "914" inter- 
nipted him. " Kape still, ye scut 1 Answer 
when ye're spoken to, and kape yer tongue 
atune yer teeth." 

" What are you saying, officer? " queried the 
viceroy, not hearing plainly. 

" He's like a parrot with his English, your 
t-xcellency," replied the constable, saluting. 
'' What's your name? " the viceroy asked. 
" I can't give it, your Excellent," replied 
liden-Powell hesitatingly. 

As he spoke the gray eyes again flashed upon 
Powell like the rays of a fluorescent lamp. 
liden-Powell started— surely the right vice-regal 
eye had closed in a subdued wink. He had 
never heard of a viceroy winking; it seemed 
incompatible with the awful dignity of the 
office, but that right lid had most certainly 
drooped. Then Lord Roma spoke 



' Well, never mind 



again. 

your name; we'll get that 
301 



■I I 



THIRTEEN MEN 

later. You speak English well; where did you 
learn that?" 

"At Harrow-on-the-Hill — I mean over in 
England, your Excellency." 

Again the upper lid of the vice-regal eye 
stumbled and fell down, completely curtaining 
the steel-gray of the eye. There could be no 
doubt about it this time; Eden-Powell knew a 
wink when hp saw it — that is, when he saw it 
the second time. What it meant he didn't 
know, but a wink always telegraphs the informa- 
tion, " Go slow." 

The viceroy turned to l;aboo Chunder Dey. 
"What makes you think this is Sheitan?" he 
asked. 

From the mass of voluble information the 
baboo poured out he gleaned that it v. as chiefly 
the personal appearance of the fakir that in- 
spired the baboo with his belief. Also Sunda 
had declared that he had reincarnated himself 
several times in his presence. 

" I don't blame the baboo," hazarded Lord 
Dick; " this chap certainly looks more like the 
devil than anything I ever saw." 

" He's a bad one, your lordship," chipped 
in " 914." " He puts on as inuch stoile as an 
evictin' landlord." 

Now Lord Dick was an Irish landlord him- 
302 



in 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

Ihl'/^f ? ?*''' °' '""«'•*" P""d through 
he .oul of the vceroy at thi, shot of the co„. 

.table,. But "9,4 "was oblivious to that- he 
was possessed with the desire to get much pun- 
ishment for the cheeky fakir. 

baboo, that you are quite right ir. your sur- 
mise, and are quite deserving of that appoint- 
ment because of your services to the state over 
this matter. You will see that the baboo re- 
ceives a clerkship in the revenue department " 
he said, turning to Lord Dick. " as reward for 
capturing the devil. You may go, baboo." 

Chunder Dey salamed his thanks, and walked 
out on soft, spring air. His feet smote heavily 
on the polished floors, but he knew it not_he 
telt that he was swimming. 

Eden-Powell listened in blank amazement, 
and was about to remonstrate when the hard 
polished end of the baton passed persuasivelJ 
-cross three nbs of his right side. That and 
the memory of those two winks induced him 
to keep his mouth closed. 

When the baboo had gone the viceroy ad- 

Sir ''kI?-" "'^-''.offi-.thafthis 

fakir ,s probably quite harmless; not at all the 
iivil One the baboo would have us believe You 
may leave him there in that room on the right. 
303 



3 ■; 



M 






ri 



THIRTEEN MEN 

I will have the case looked into by the proper 
people. You can take the — ah — the — ah — 
handcuffs of! his wrists; then you may report to 
your inspector that you have left him in my 
charge." 

" C 914" placed Powell in the room indi- 
cated, took oS the bracelets, gave the prisoner 
a frightful scowl, saluted, and marched sol- 
emnly out. 

Then Lord Roma stepped into the room in 
which had been placed the fakir, closed the 
door deliberately and said: "Well, Mr. Eden- 
Powell." 

The nabob's knees collapsed, and he said im- 
ploringly: "You know, then?" 

" Ahl I was not mistaken, then," interrupted 
the viceroy blandly. " I thought I recognized 
your voice when you first spoke. May I ask 
why an officer of her Majesty's service, occupy- 
ing the position Mr. Eden-Powell did, appears 
before me in this plight, charged by a baboo 
with being Sheitani" 

It was terribly humiliating. Eden-Powell 
told his Excellency the whole truth. 

Later on the information went forth that the 
victim of Chunder Dey's campaign, the de- 
ranged fakir, had been sent ofi to his own 
country. 

304 



•k! 



THE CAPTURE OF SHEITAN 

When people saw Eden-Powell in hit office 
again they learned that he had not been 
drowned at all, but only in the General Ho^ 
pital for two weeks on sick leave. 

Sunda still believes that he carried the Evil 
One, and Chunder Dey that he captured him, 
for did he not get his appointment because of 
that? 

Eden-Powell believes no more in putting 
down young mutinies, single-handed, in a 
mastic-applied disguise. 

The whole thing showed that the viceroy had 
a good heart and much sense. He had saved 
the nabob's dignity with a wink. 



0) 



THE END 



305 



h 



i 



k 



I L; 



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lOLE. 

Color inlay on the cover and many full-page illus- 
trations, borders, thumbnail sketches, etc., by J. C 
Leyendecker, Arthur Becher. and Karl Anderson! 
$1.25. 

The story of eight pretty girls and their fat poetical 
lic"'"° *'"" °' ^" "'^^^ ""'''' °" ^**"'^ *"'' *'■"■ 

'■ • lole * u unquestionably a classic."— Jii» FranHtm BuOtHn. 

" Mr. Chambers is a benefactor to the human race." 

—Stallle Post-Inttlligmar. 

«,n,'l*?^«tw "I* ""?''™?, »»<1 delectable bit of nonsense that has 
come to light for a long \mx.—IAfe. 

"One of the most alluring books of the season." 

— Louiivillt Cauricr.Jotimal. 
_„■'?*". joy™' abounding charm of ' lole ■ is indescribable. It is for 
you to read. 'lole' is guaranteed to drive away the blues." 

—New York Press. 

i»,.!!i5i';-^''i'°'"".t?',?*,™' '^'"™ ■"'■"«" "o™ briUiant and more 
imaginative than in this little satirical idylUc corned] ." 

— Kansas City Star. 

" A liwh proof of Mr. Chambers' amazing versatility." 

—Everybod)fs Uagaunt. 

" As delicious a satire as one could want to read." 

—Pittsburg Chrtmicle. 

f„ 1 '.' " T «^'"«"«.'" «o "rite » genuinely funny book and another 
to w>^ e a trulv instructive book ; but it is the greatest of achievements 
to write a boot that is both. This Mr. Ch.mb?« has done in ' lole" '' 

— Washington Star. 

Thea'tS^S".?"'^" "^'t" '"¥■* ''°'=' <='"°" " J""' "■"'Wne- 
LmC „f w ^"^'e*° »''°»' « «"« «™<:h «nd rarer pigments as the 
number of his canvases grows. • -,Ie' is a literary achieve-nent w^;-h 
must always stand in theToremost o, its class. "-ci.«^« Evening PoU 



D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, NEW YORK. 



i 







A GREAT ROMANTIC NOVEL. 



The Reckoning. 

By Robert W. 
Henry Hutt. $1.50. 



Chambers. Illustrated by 



"A thrilling and engrossing taie."—JVett/ Vori Suh. 

■ J' ^''*" ** ^y •''** ">^ "«w work is as good as ' Caidiean ' it 
IS hardly necessary to say more."— Tie Dial. 

" Robert Chambers' books recommend themselves. ' The 
Reckomng is one of his best and will delight lovers of good 
novels. — Boston Herald. 

'■ It is an exceedingly fine specimen of its class, worthy of its 
predecessors and a joy to all who like ple:.ty of swing and spirit." 

— London Bookman. 

" Robert W. Chambers' stories of the revolutionary period in 
particular show a care in historic detail that put them in a different 
class from the rank and file of colonial novels."— ^ao* Neuis. 

" A stirring tale well told and absorbing. It is not a book to 
forget easily and it will for many throw new light on a phase of 
revolutionary history replete with interest and appeal." 

— Chicago Record-HercUd. 

"Chambers' bullets whistle almost audibly in the pages: when 
a twig snaps, ar. twigs do perforce in these chronicles, you can 
almost feel the presence of the savM;e buck who snaps it. Then 
there are situations of force and effect everywhere through the 
pages, an intensity of action, a certain naturalness of dialogue and 
human nature in the incidents. But over all is the glamor of the 
t-hambers fancy, the gaujy woof of an artist's imagination which 
glories in tints, in poesies, in the little whims of the brush and 
pencil, so that you have just a pleasant reminder of unreality and 
a gUmpse of the author hiuiself here and theie to vary the interest." 

— St. Louis Republic. 



I? p 



D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, NEW YORK. 



JVAjeauUful fonance of the day, of Robert Buhu .* 
Nancy Stair. 

of Borthewcke are admirably relieved aganst each other 
and Nancy herself a, irresistible as she if Ta Lai To be 
sure she IS a wonderful child, but then she manaS to 
»ake you beheve .he ,*as , real one. Indeed, «S and 
naturalness are two of the charms of a story that ,S 

=?:;Sji;^^'^-Se:t5^--^^A^^ 

S?terS.^°7 *° '''' '" '""' *-« -J"" do not care 
ttort f Jr/^ ?^ ^^ ""°°' "'^^P" *« «t««t of a lore 
«ory fuU of incident and atmosphere." 

A tUMy b«t dcKribcd with the word ■ cl«mri^' - 

•■ ~ff<u *iitg*mJ'*H 

D^APPL£TON AND COMPANY. NFW v^,^" 



LOVE. 



MYSTERY. 



VENIC 



if i 



The Clock and the Key. 

By Arthur Henry Vesey. lamo. Ornamen 
Cloth, I1.50. 

This is a tale of a mystery connected with an old do 
The lover, an American man of means, is startled out 
his sensuous, inactive life in Venice by his lady-love's sec 
for his indolence. She begs of him to perform any ti 
that will prove his persistence and worth. With the cha 
of Venice as a background, one follows the adventures 
the lover endeavoring to read the puzzling hints of the c 
clock as to th^ whereabouts of the famous jewels of ma 
centuries ago. After following many false clues the lo\ 
ultimately solves the mystery, triumphs over his rivals, a 
wms the girl. 
AMERICA. 

" For an abKiblng norf it wouU be haid to bttlt."—atr/tr'i WtMy. 
ENGLAND. 

" It wiU hold the ruder tUl tbe lut pegs."— £«*, Timu. 
SCOTLAND. 
-ciJI^flW?'^ *"'" ^ comperison with Poe'i immortal ■ Gold Bug 



NORTH. 

" It ought to make a nayri."—ll<mtrtal Sun. 
SOUTH. 

EAST. 

" Dont faU to get It."— A*» Yart Sum. 
VfEST. 



m.'.i'l,'^™ S"' •'h'fninB; story of intripie and mystery, which will rat 
p. APPLETON AND COMPANY, NEW YORI 



raiw— dbamun^